OAKLAND -- One flat game, one Stephen Curry ankle twist, one lost moment, and a whole playoff series flips on its head, again.
One day, everything that was bright starts darkening pretty fast.
On Friday, the Spurs played desperately, slowed it down, gummed it up, and maybe sort of hypnotized the Warriors in Game 3.
And for the first time this series -- and the first time at home this entire postseason -- the Warriors played slowly and played without confidence.
At this crucial moment, they played as if they were backing down, not charging forward.
"We've battled and we've worked hard, I think, except for tonight," Warriors center Andrew Bogut said.
"Tonight, we didn't play with the mentality we've had the whole playoffs."
What happened for the Spurs in their 102-92 victory? Many things, all looming large as this series moves to Game 4 on Sunday at Oracle Arena.
The veteran Spurs took a 2-1 lead, reversed the tide from the Warriors' two stirring games in San Antonio, and put all the series pressure back on the upstarts.
That's what a team full of champions can do; now the Warriors must respond, or this series could go dark quickly for them.
"They outplayed us, outworked us," coach Mark Jackson said of San Antonio. "They were the aggressor.
"That being said, we're still a confident basketball team. We talked about it -- that team is very capable of coming into our building and beating us. They did that.
"We have proven that we're capable of going into their building and beating them. ... This series is far from over."
But when Curry tweaked his left ankle in the fourth quarter, it seemed as if time stood still at Oracle.
That's when the crowd, Curry's teammates and the whole organization held their breath.
He stayed in, missed a 3-point attempt, but never again looked as if he could cut or plant, and the Warriors could not pull this one out.
The Warriors had no update
So now the questions come for the Warriors:
Is Curry OK for the rest of this series? He needed two injections to get through the first round, and now there will be discussion about more ... and about how much more he can take.
Were the Warriors tired Friday? They're the younger team, so they should've been far fresher than Tim Duncan (23 points, 10 rebounds) and Tony Parker (32 points after a blistering start).
But Curry (5-for-17 shooting) and Klay Thompson (7 for 20) looked as if they were running in mud for much of this game, and the Spurs were the ones who looked energized and engaged.
Maybe the Warriors -- in the first postseason for this group -- are mentally drained from the six-game triumph over Denver and the two tense games in San Antonio.
And maybe the Spurs are just getting going.
"You knew they weren't going to come out and lay down," Warriors forward Draymond Green said of the Spurs. "They played a great game, and especially Tony Parker got off to a great start."
Last, can the Warriors get more from David Lee after his three sensational minutes Friday?
Lee, who has been sidelined with a hip-flexor tear, came in during the second quarter and immediately started a rally. But Jackson said it wouldn't have been fair to ask for more after he saw Lee limp through the outing.
The Warriors might need much more Lee -- if he can play at that level for longer periods; the Warriors need Curry and Thompson; the Warriors need energy rippling through their entire roster.
Other than the Lee moment, there were no more bursts of energy for the Warriors on this night.
The Spurs challenged the Warriors on offense and defense, and the Warriors didn't answer.
And the players conceded that this was a far tougher loss to take than their double-overtime opera in Game 1.
For a while, it looked as if the Warriors might never hit a roadblock, or might fly over anything put in front of them.
All it took was one game to throw that all into question, one night, and one moment when they started backing up for the first time this postseason.