Balls: Warriors play dangerous game of dare 

click to enlarge Golden State's Stephen Curry (30) goes to the basket against New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson during the Warriors' overtime win Thursday night. - GERALD HERBERT/AP
  • Gerald Herbert/AP
  • Golden State's Stephen Curry (30) goes to the basket against New Orleans Pelicans forward Ryan Anderson during the Warriors' overtime win Thursday night.
Coach Steve Kerr needs to call a timeout. Immediately. Maybe sooner.

The Warriors flat out stole a playoff game in New Orleans on Thursday. They rallied from a 20-point deficit in the fourth quarter to win in overtime 123-119, something they had never done in franchise history. They shot 40 percent from the field and hoisted 41 3-pointers and survived somehow.

In the other 49 states, that kind of thing gets you arrested for grand theft.

“We had nothing going for three quarters,” Kerr confessed. “It was as bad a game as I’ve seen us play in a long time.”

“Amazing,” the Warriors’ Draymond Green called what happened later.

“Whatta comeback, man,” teammate Klay Thompson said, unable to control himself. “That was special.”

Yeah, it was amazing and special, all right. It also was dangerous, very dangerous. And if the Pelicans don’t have another duh moment — why, oh why didn’t Quincy Pondexter foul Stephen Curry before he drained the 3-pointer that sent the game into overtime? — it probably doesn’t happen, either.

The Warriors have toyed with the overmatched Pelicans since the second quarter of the series opener. But can they survive a game of dare against the Memphis Grizzlies? The Houston Rockets? The Los Angeles Clippers? The San Antonio Spurs?

Balls thinks not.

The Warriors sleepwalked through the middle two quarters. Foul trouble took Green out the game for an extended stretch. Harrison Barnes, Andrew Bogut and Andre Iguodala were no-shows for the most part. That left Curry and Thompson to hoist 50 shots. The rest of the team had 54 field goal attempts total.

At the other end, the Warriors were as bad if not worse. There were layups and dunks and more layups and more dunks. And if somebody wants to guard Ryan Anderson, hey, that’s OK here.

“We have to get a lot better,” Kerr conceded.

The Warriors can start in the fourth and final game on Saturday night.

DUBS GET TWO-TIMED: What does a 67-win team have to do to get some respect around here?

First, Kerr was jobbed in the Coach of the Year vote. On Thursday, Green was snubbed in the Defensive Player of the Year election even though he had more first-place votes than anyone on the ballot.

The San Antonio Spurs’ Kawhi Leonard played only 64 games and still won a close vote based on point totals. He had 333 points and 37 first-place votes, while Green had 317 points and 45 first-place votes.(Candidates received five points for a first-place vote, three for a second and one for a third.)

No defender was more valuable than Green in the regular season, when he was often paired against the opponent’s biggest threat on the front line. Part of the problem was the Warriors were too good on defense. Teammate Andrew Bogut also received consideration, which cost Green a few votes, no doubt.

Then again, the voters might have done Green and the Warriors a favor here. The live-wire forward is sure to use the snub as motivation for the remainder of the playoffs, as if the guy needs any more.

COMEBACK KIDS: The Giants completed a much-needed sweep of the Los Angeles Dodgers on Thursday, and it was fitting that Bryan Stow helped trigger their late comeback.

After the Jumbotron spotted Stow in a suite, he let loose with a “Go Giants!” then gave a thumbs-up sign to the crowd, who responded with loud applause.

Stow was attacked outside Dodgers Stadium four years ago, and if he enjoyed the last three days more than anybody, Balls wouldn’t blame him one bit.

BONDS GUILTY AS CHARGED: Barry Bonds got off on an obstruction of justice charge, but that’s merely a blip on his résumé. What matters is the obstruction of integrity charge, and he’s still guilty as hell. Always was. Always will be.

Balls can’t think of a person who damaged baseball more than the bloated Barry did all those years. That includes Pete Rose and the 1919 Chicago Black Sox. So don’t mention Bonds and the Hall in the Fame in the same breath. Case closed.

CLIP AND SAVE: Here’s how crystal Balls sees the 49ers’ season ahead:

49ers 27, Minnesota Vikings 14: The new Colin Kaepernick makes his first appearance.

Pittsburgh Steelers 24, 49ers 17: But coach Jim Tomsula’s glass is one-third full — he grew up a Steelers fans in western Pee-Ay.

Arizona Cardinals, 20, 49ers 10: The old Colin Kaepernick makes his first appearance.

Green Bay Packers 33, 49ers 14: Aaron Rodgers goes bonkers, 49ers fans wonder what might have been.

49ers 30, New York Giants 24: Eli Peyton Manning is so good, he keeps both teams in the game.

49ers 21, Baltimore Ravens 20: John Harbaugh has insider information — but Anquan Boldin and Torrey Smith do, too. So there.

Seattle Seahawks 20, 49ers 6: Did Jim Harbaugh schedule this game on three days’ rest or what?

49ers 31, Rams 13: Smith torched this defense for three touchdowns last season, you know.

Atlanta Falcons 37, 49ers 31 (overtime): The homies blow a 14-point lead, admit they miss Frank Gore a teeny-tiny bit.

49ers 17, Seahawks 13: On the final play, Russell Wilson throws in interception at the 1-inch line.

Cardinals 30, 49ers 28: The coaches implore Kaepernick to run more.

Chicago Bears 17, 49ers 3: Somebody named Vic Fangio gets a game ball.

Cleveland Browns 20, 49ers 13: The visitors leave their game in Youngstown, Ohio.

Cincinnati Bengals 30, 49ers 14: The coaches ask Kap to pass more.

Detroit Lions 34, 49ers 17: The defense holds Calvin Johnson to two TDs — in the first half.

49ers 23, Rams 16: The coaches say they want Kap to run and pass, more or less.

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