NEW ORLEANS — Eric Gordon has been in this exact spot before, Pelicans down by a point, less than a second remaining.
Just four days earlier, he hit the game-winning 3-pointer from the corner in front of the opponent’s bench.
Tuesday the ball hung in the air and nearly found the bottom half of the net again.
This time, however, it rimmed out and with it, New Orleans’ home win streak.
The Pelicans lost to Golden State 102-101, snapping a four-game roll at the New Orleans Arena and for the third time this season, have a losing streak.
“Jrue (Holiday) made a great read,” Pelicans coach Monty Williams said. “Eric made the shot the other day. Today he missed it. It’s a cruel game.”
“We ran the same play like we did last game where I knocked down the shot,” said Gordon, who finished with 16 points and seven assists. “Same play, same shot and it just didn’t fall for me tonight.”
Golden State was playing with only 10 men. Starting center Andrew Bogut was suspended by the NBA for one game for his role in a fight between the Warriors and Portland on Saturday.
Forward Andre Iguodala was out with a hamstring injury, guard Toney Douglas missed with a stress reaction in his left leg, center Ognjen Kuzmic couldn’t play with a right hand injury and center Festus Ezeli continues to recover from right knee surgery.
Still, the Pelicans couldn’t take advantage.
New Orleans’ Anthony Davis had 14 points and 11 rebounds, but was a non-factor until the final five minutes.
His awakening, strangely enough, coincided with New Orleans’ (6-8) comeback bid.
After Tyreke Evans’ driving layup, Davis forced Golden State’s Stephen Curry to dribble out of bounds.
Holiday’s jumper pulled New Orleans to within 93-91 with 4:26 to play. A half-minute later, Davis slammed home an Evans miss to tie the game.
But Golden State (9-6) turned to Jermaine O’Neal, playing in his first game since Nov. 16 after straining his right knee and groin. The big man, who set a season-high for points (18) and rebounds (8), hit an 11-foot turnaround jumper to give the Warriors a lead they wouldn’t relinquish.
His putback layup with 1:27 left answered Davis’ alley-oop and put Golden State up 3.
“I told those guys I wanted to play on Tuesday, so in my mind I had already tried to focus in on doing what I needed to do to at least help the team and I didn’t even know Bogut was going to get suspended,” O’Neal said.
Once again, Davis came through, slamming home another miss to bring New Orleans within 102-101 with just 47 seconds to go.
O’Neal tried to answer right back, but missed a five-footer, setting up the final 22 seconds and Gordon’s miss.
“We have a lot of heard,” said Holiday, who finished with 17 points and seven assists. “That hurt, though, and I don’t know anybody on this team that wants to go out there and have a game like that as a team.”