The Warriors suffered an ugly, jaw-dropping loss at the final buzzer to the Charlotte Hornets on Saturday.
And while their fate ultimately was their own doing, things could've ended much differently if coach Steve Kerr was successful in calling for a timeout with 10 seconds remaining in the game.
"There's a lot to unwind," Kerr said to reporters on a video call following Golden State's 102-100 loss. "But if you just want to cut to the chase, it was very difficult call on a loose ball that becomes a jump ball that [Charlotte] got a timeout on, especially because in that exact same situation, I was trying to call a timeout when Brad [Wanamaker] had the ball at the top of the key."
Of course, the play in question is one that sparked a nearly unbelievable turn of events that led to the Warriors' demise. Golden State was up by two points with 9.3 seconds left on the clock when LaMelo Ball tied up Wanamaker. If the referee's had heard Kerr's attempt to call time, there wouldn't have been the subsequent jump ball that led to Draymond Green's two technical fouls and ejection.
Gordon Hayward won the tip, and Hornets' coach James Borrego's attempt in calling timeout was successful, even though according to Green and Kerr, Hayward didn't establish possession of the ball and therefore, Charlotte shouldn't have been able to call time.
Alas, Kerr's timeout ask was unsuccessful, and it set the Hornets up for an improbable comeback, punctuated by Terry Rozier's off-balance pull-up jumper at the buzzer.
The outcome left nearly every Warrior frustrated, and Kerr was so upset he kicked a basketball down the court as the Hornets celebrated.
"We actually had possession of the ball when I tried to call timeout," Kerr said, seemingly slighting the Hornets, and the refs.
Saturday's loss is one that will haunt the Warriors for a while. And while they ultimately are responsible for their own actions, wondering "What if?" will be the hardest to swallow and move past.