Simone Fontecchio dunked with 1.4 seconds remaining off Nickeil Alexander-Walker’s steal and the Utah Jazz beat the Golden State Warriors 124-123 on Wednesday night in a breathless finish.
The Warriors had led 113-109 with 13.3 seconds left after a Jordan Poole free-throw. But Malik Beasley, who had 18 points for Utah, made a three-pointer with 7.8 seconds to play. Alexander-Walker then slapped the ball away from Poole, Beasley picked up the loose ball and threw it ahead to Fontecchio sprinting to the basket.
“I couldn’t imagine anything like that. Just an amazing feeling, really happy and excited the way we got there,” said Fontecchio, a rookie from Italy who will be 27 on Friday. He finished with a career-high 18 points, and made four three-pointers.
Poole tied a season high with 36 points for Golden State and Jonathan Kuminga had a season-high 24.
“We were supposed to win that game. Just things that happen,” Kuminga said. “The NBA is crazy because out of 82 games, there’s always going to be a game just like that that you’re just going to ask yourself, ‘What happened?’”
Golden State coach Steve Kerr said his team needed to be more disciplined in tight games. “You got to close it. You got to be rock solid with the ball. You got to be smart defensively. We were neither of those things the last 13 seconds,” he said.
Both teams were shorthanded for the game. Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Andrew Wiggins sat out for Golden State, while Utah were missing Lauri Markkanen and Mike Conley. Curry missed the game because of soreness in his left ankle, Green has tightness in his left hip and Andrew Wiggins has a strained right adductor. For Utah, Markkanen was ill and Conley has an injured left knee.
There was also a confrontation in the game’s final stages. With Golden State leading 121-119, Kuminga blocked Jordan Clarkson’s jumper in the lane with 24.9 seconds remaining and then tangled with the Utah guard in the resulting scrum. The players went after each other, but were quickly separated by officials and teammates.
Clarkson was whistled for a loose ball foul before an official review determined he committed a Flagrant 2 foul. Clarkson ripped off his headband in disgust and exited the court.
“I didn’t do anything. I literally just held him up,” he said.
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