Though handcuffed in part by Ringling Bros. taking over Barclays Center for the better part of February, the NBA schedulemaker surely had a sense of humor when putting together the Nets' slate.
As if they weren't weary enough -- having logged 11 days away from home after the All-Star break (following a three-game road trip just before that began) -- the Nets' gift Monday night was a date with Golden State, which boasts the league's top winning percentage and enjoys playing at a cheetah-like pace.
"That's what the NBA is all about," said Jarrett Jack, whose pull-up jumper with 1.1 seconds left gave the Nets a 110-108 victory over the Warriors. "Everybody has those crazy moments in your schedule throughout the course of the year, and that's just what it is. You've just got to deal with it. I talked to the Clippers and they were on that Grammy road trip. They were like on an 11-game trip or something. We haven't experienced anything like that.
"So us trying to find an excuse or a loophole, nobody wants to hear it, and neither do we want to verbalize we are an excuse-making bunch because the situation got a little tough. That's just what it is and we've just got to make the best of it."
Jack hit the biggest shot of the night as the Nets began a span of six home games in nine days in impressive fashion. His ridiculously tough pull-up over Stephen Curry at the free-throw line overcame Curry's blowtorch-hot shooting stroke and the Nets' three critical turnovers in the final 2:11.
"It's tough -- that final game of the road trip and then the first game back is always tough as well," said Deron Williams, who had 22 points and four assists. "But I think we had the luxury of them playing [Sunday night in Boston] and being down 26 and having to fight an uphill battle. So that definitely came into play for us. But you can't take nothing away from a win. A win is a win, and I thought we played well. This is a team that has the best record in the league right now, and this was just huge for us."
Brook Lopez had 26 points and six rebounds in 25:48 off the bench for the Nets (25-33), helping to neutralize things inside after Andrew Bogut (16 points, eight rebounds) had his way on the interior. Alan Anderson scored 16 big points, shooting 7-for-10, and Thaddeus Young had 14 points and four rebounds off the bench in his home debut.
Curry led the Warriors (46-12) with 26 points and seven assists in only 29:16. He scored 18 points in the fourth quarter, shooting 4-for-7 from three-point range in the period, and sank two three-pointers and a 20-foot jumper during a 9-0 run that tied it at 108 with 1:09 left. He had it going so much that he even heard "MVP" chants throughout the arena more than once.
"I kind of forgot where I was for a second," said Curry, who shot 2-for-7 in the first three quarters and 6-for-9 in the fourth. "I just kind of went and looked around and was like a 'where am I?' kind of a deal because it was loud in there."
Some of the cheers for Curry turned to jeers when he took a couple of dribbles and couldn't get a shot off in time at the final horn, moving the Nets to an NBA-best 7-1 in games decided by three or fewer points this season.
"There was a lot of roaring when those guys were making shots to come back," Nets coach Lionel Hollins said. "But the loudest roar was when Jarrett hit the shot."