OAKLAND -- There was no need for metaphors on this night, no greater meaning gained from hyperbole.
This was real Warriors bristling drama--brutal, painful, inspiring, potentially dangerous and, finally, season ending.
The Warriors literally shed blood, sweat and ligament tears in order to stave off elimination on Thursday.
They played hard enough and endured more than enough to earn glory, but still they fell short in Game 6.
The Warriors lost 94-82 to San Antonio on Thursday and lost this second-round series, in the process spilling everything they had, wildly and willingly.
With Harrison Barnes (head injury) and Andrew Bogut (ankle) unable to play in the fourth quarter, with David Lee and Stephen Curry limited by injury but playing, the Warriors still kept charging late into this game.
With so many reasons to let go, the Warriors kept grabbing at victory.
"We have a lot of guys that didn't want to give up," said Bogut, who could only play 6 minutes in the second half.
"My ankle was telling me to give up, I tried to fight through it, David Lee with his hip, Jarrett (Jack) took a knock in the first half, Steph...
"A lot of guys could've easily shut it down at points throughout this playoff series but everyone came back that next day and kept working hard."
When it was over, the two teams lined up in a mirroring of a grand Stanley Cup playoff series conclusion.
The Warriors and Spurs hugged each other, congratulated each other and shared the sweet and bitter exhaustion of these six frantic games.
Then the Warriors players gathered at midcourt to salute their chanting fans, one last time.
It was, then, a fitting end to this rampaging Warriors season--bold and more successful than expected, full of life and toughness, and pointing to a larger future.
"Sometimes one of the best statements you can make is fight," coach Mark Jackson said. "At the end of the day, our tank will be empty and our light will be bright.
"I truly believe that's exactly what took place. Guys battled, guys gave me everything they had. We fought and I could not be prouder of any group."
On this night, mostly, what was displayed was pure guts and endurance.
At the end of their season, the Warriors kept slugging for a desperate knock out.
Then, with just under five minutes left in the game, Curry's mid-range basket cut the Spurs' lead to 77-75, and the crowd going crazy.
But Manu Ginobili found Tony Parker for a three-pointer to extend the lead back to five, and the Spurs continued to respond every time the Warriors closed.
By the end of the third quarter, both teams looked thoroughly exhausted.
This wasn't just about endurance; it was about pushing everything they had onto the court until they dropped.
The leading example, of course, was Barnes, who was knocked woozy late in the first half, bled on the court, needed six stitches above his right eye, and stunningly bolted out of the locker room to start the third quarter.
Barnes played the entire period, but didn't play again--Warriors announced he had a head ache.
Should he have ever been allowed to go back out? Warriors general manager Bob Myers said team medical staffers checked with the NBA throughout Barnes' time in the locker room and that he passed every concussion test.
More than anything, Barnes' return proved this: The Warriors were going to do anything to win this game.
In the second quarter, Bogut left the game in the second quarter to get his troublesome left ankle re-taped, then re-entered.
But after a brief run in the third quarter, Bogut never re-entered the game.
Meanwhile, Lee played 12 minutes on a torn hip-flexor and Curry kept playing on his bad left ankle.
The Warriors, though, were not alone in their maladies and exhaustion.
San Antonio's Parker was clearly at half-speed, missing 11 of his first 12 shots--but he made several key shots at the climax.
And future Hall of Famer Tim Duncan struggled all game... then didn't play at all in the game's deciding minutes.
"We've got a lot of heart and character and we're resilient," Bogut said. "We could've let this series go in Game 1. We could've just given up. But we never gave up in this series or the Denver series.
"Just kept fighting and that's all you can ask. Tonight wasn't pretty, but with four or five minutes left, we're still in this game."
The Spurs survived. The Warriors did some surviving, too--in a less obvious manner, but maybe in a way that will be lasting.
They lost this game, and their season ended, with blood on the court, exhaustion in their eyes and a not much more left to prove, really.
Read Tim Kawakami's Talking Points blog at blogs.mercurynews.com/kawakami.