It was the kind of game that could have gone down as a moral victory ... had the Warriors not needed a real win a whole lot more.
And it might have been a statement game in Monta Ellis' quest to become a Western Conference All-Star ... if it hadn't been at an Eastern site.
So Friday's 107-103 loss at Boston has to go down as nothing more than just another defeat.
In fact, coming so close against the Celtics on the road accomplished little but demonstrate to the Warriors that if they'd played this well at Minnesota or Indiana to open the trip, they could have afforded a loss like this and still felt good about their playoff push.
But now, after losing to the Timberwolves and Pacers, they're just 1-3 on the trip, still six games out of the final playoff spot in the West.
Worse off, they have failed to make up ground on the Nos. 10 and 11 teams immediately in front of them -- a Utah squad (32-30) that's on a fast track to a losing season, and a Houston team (31-32) that's already fallen below .500.
Even if the Warriors sweep the final three games of their trip -- Sunday at Philadelphia, Tuesday at Cleveland, Wednesday at New Jersey -- they won't catch either Utah or Houston in the win column before returning home.
At that point, they'd still be 12th in the West with then just 18 to go.
Sure, the Warriors kept Friday's game close. They'd trade that for being a little closer in the playoff race.
CELTICS 107, WARRIORS 103: New Warriors owner Joe Lacob showed off his $450 million acquisition to his old pals in Boston on Friday night, and no doubt they had to be impressed. Monta Ellis (41 points) and David Lee (26 points, 12 rebounds) provided the type of 1-2 punch that could make the Warriors competitive for years. And this was on a night when the club's third marquee player -- Stephen Curry -- struggled, finishing with just nine points.
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