The Warriors were down three with 2:22 left in the third quarter, their season on the line in Game 6 of the NBA Finals.
Klay Thompson drove to the basket and was fouled, hitting the floor in a scary fall. It forced him to leave the floor — and valiently came back to make two free throws.
Was this the next almost mythological moment that would catapult this Warriors dynasty still onward, this time to a Game 7?
Thompson took a very awkward landing and his knee bent abnormally when he was fouled on a drive. He left the floor during a time-out, but if he didn't shoot the free throws he would have been ineligible to come back.
So he emerged with a hobbled jog from the tunnel, took his free throws and made both. He then left the game a few seconds later, jogging with a limp back to the locker room.
Thompson, like teammate Kevin Durant who ruptured his Achilles in Game 5, is set to become a free agent this offseason. Perhaps learning from Durant and his more significant re-injury, the Warriors would not let Thompson return to the game.
He was later seen on crutches. After the game, his agent confirmed the worst. A torn ACL.
It will go down as the death blow before the deciding 114-110 defeat in Oracle Arena's swan song, for a Warriors season many prognosticated as a lock for a third consecutive NBA championship and fourth in five years. Vegas made the Warriors one of the heaviest preseason favorites in NBA history, with a starting lineup of five all-stars.
Instead, a fifth-straight Finals appearance ends with the Larry O'Brien Trophy going north of the border, leaving us wondering if this is the end of Golden State's dynasty.
By Stephen Andress