Blog: Season 2

Sportzball: Season 2

Spurs Prevail Despite Late Rally from Quinn Cook and Co., Warriors lose 114-92.

On the last stop of their “Texas Triangle” roadtrip, the Golden State Warriors (12-5) traveled to San Antonio to take on the Spurs (7-7). The Warriors were looking to pick up their first win of the road trip, while the Spurs were trying to avoid their fourth-straight loss. Draymond Green, Stephen Curry, and Alfonzo McKinnie were all still out with their various injuries, and the Spurs were relatively healthy in the midst of a cold streak. This was the last game of the Warriors busiest stretch of the season, this was their sixth game in nine days, and third in four nights. The Spurs went on to win the game 114-92.

LaMarcus Aldridge got the first quarter started with a hookshot over Kevon Looney in the post, and Rudy Gay scored next on a three from the left wing. The Warriors didn’t score in the first two minutes of the game, and they got their first points on two Jonas Jerebko free throws. Rudy Gay nailed a baseline jumper in response, and Klay Thompson scored his first points on a jumper from the free throw line. Dante Cunningham got a corner three to fall and he gave the Spurs a 10-4 lead. Kevon Looney finished a lay-in after grabbing his own offensive rebound, and Bryn Forbes responded with a pull-up mid range jumper. Jerebko got a tip-in to fall, but Rudy Gay nailed a three in response. Kevin Durant scored his first points of the game on two free throws, and DeMar DeRozan knocked down a mid range jumper to get the lead to seven points. Damien Jones threw down a dunk, and Gregg Popovich called timeout with 6:30 remaining in the quarter with the Spurs leading 17-12. Kevin Durant got the scoring started again by going 1/2 at the line after a pretty hard foul from Marco Belinelli, and he got a tough layup to fall to cut the lead to two. DeMar DeRozan responded with a layup, and Pondexter followed that up with a layup of his own. Andre Iguodala threw down a dunk, and Damien Jones didn’t want to be outdone so he threw down the hammer on the next possession. Timeout was then called after a Spurs turnover with 3:44 left in the quarter and the Spurs leading 21-19. Shaun Livingston started tehs coring after the stoppage with a signature baseline mid range jumper, and Marco Belinelli responded with a corner three. Belinelli nailed another three on the next possession, and the Spurs were 5/8  from the arc to that point. KD made a tough jumper from inside the paint, but Rudy Gay responded with a tough shot from inside the paint of his own. Rudy Gay then threw down a thunderous dunk to push the lead to eight points, and he was a perfect 5/5 from the field at that point. KD made two free throws, but Jakob Poeltl made a tough layup in response. Durant got to the line again for two more free throws, and those were the last points of the quarter. Rudy Gay was leading all scorers with 12 points on 5/7 shooting, and Kevin Durant was leading the Warriors with 11 points on 2/6 shooting (7/8 at the line). The Warriors were 0/8 from three in the quarter while the Spurs were 5/9, which was a problem. After the first, the Spurs led the Warriors 33-27.

The first points of the second quarter came on a DeMar DeRozan free throw from a Steve Kerr technical foul, and Quinn Cook got the Warriors started after two minutes with a mid range jumper. Gregg Popovich called timeout after the Cook bucket with 10:05 left in the half and the Spurs leading 34-29. Bryn Forbes bottomed a three to open the scoring after the timeout, and Klay Thompson got a turnaround jumper to fall from the free throw line. Quinn Cook nailed a jumper from the free throw line and forced another Spurs timeout, this time with 8:30 left in the half and the Spurs leading 37-33. Klay Thompson started the scoring with a corner three, his first of the night and the team’s first three of the game. Klay Thompson then got a tough layup to fall to give the Warriors their first lead of the night. The Warriors were on a 9-0 run before Derrick White got a layup to fall off the glass. LaMarcus Aldridge found himself all alone on the left side of the court, and drained a mid range jumper to give the Spurs a three point lead. Steve Kerr called timeout with 6:13 left in the half and the Spurs leading 41-38. Bryn Forbes nailed a tough layup before Klay Thompson got an and-1 layup to fall. He missed the free throw and the Warriors were still down by three points, but Kevon Looney made up for it with a dunk. Aldridge made two free throws to push the lead up to three again, and Quinn Cook answered back with a floater. Andre Iguodala nailed two free throws and the Warriors had a one-point lead again. LaMarcus Aldridge scored off an offensive rebound, and Marco Belinelli got a crafty layup to fall to give the Spurs a three point lead again. Aldridge got a bank shot to fall in transition, but Klay answered back with a mid range jumper. DeRozan made a mid range jumper, and Rudy Gay nailed a corner three to get the lead up to eight points. The half ended with Quinn Cook missing a decent look on a corner three, and as the buzzer sounded the Spurs had a 56-48 lead.

At halftime the Spurs were led by Rudy Gay, who had 15 points on 6/10 shooting, but he was 3/3 from beyond the arc. LaMarcus Aldridge had 12 points on 4/6 shooting with 11 rebounds and was the only other Spur in double figures for scoring. Marco Belinelli had eight points off the bench, while Bryn Forbes and DeMar Derozan both had seven points each. The Spurs shot a combined 44.2% (23/52) from the floor, 38.9% (7/18) from three, and 60% (3/5) from the line. Klay Thompson had 13 points on 6/14 shooting to lead the Warriors, and Kevin Durant was the only Warrior in double figures with 11 points on 2/10 shooting. Quinn Cook had a decent half with six points off the bench. The Warriors were shooting a combined 40% (18/45) from the floor, 8.2% (1/12) from three, and 84.6% (11/13) from the line.

The scoring in the third quarter got started on a DeMar DeRozan layup to give the Spurs a double-digit lead, and LaMarcus Aldridge knocked down a deep two to give the Spurs their largest lead of the night. Steve Kerr called timeout with 10:34 left in the third and the Spurs leading 60-48. Kevin Durant knocked down a baseline jumper to score the first points of the quarter for the Warriors, and he nailed a jumper from the free throw line on the next possession to cut the lead back down to eight. Aldridge nailed a jumper over Kevon Looney, and after several empty possessions from both teams Aldridge made a layup to get the lead back up to 12 points. Jonas Jerebko threw down a putback slam for the fifth and sixth points of the quarter for the Warriors, and the Spurs called timeout. When timeout was called with 6:42 left in the third, the Spurs had a 64-54 lead. Kevin Durant fouled Rudy Gay while he was shooting a three, he made all three of the subsequent free throws to give the Spurs a 13-point lead. Klay Thompson drained a deep two, and Patty Mills got an easy layup after a badly-missed Klay three. The Warriors called timeout with 6:01 left in the quarter and the Spurs were holding onto a commanding 67-56 lead. Patty Mills drilled a transition three to get the lead to 16, and LaMarcus Aldridge nailed an elbow jumper to get the lead to 18. Kevin Durant made his first three of the road trip, and he nailed a short jumper to get the lead back down to 13 before Belinelli made a deep two. Aldridge made two free throws and the lead was 18 again. Quinn Cook nailed a deep two, and he bottomed a transition three on the next possession. Quinn Cook was on fire, and he nailed a circus-shot before Kevin Durant got a tough layup to fall as well. The Warriors were on a 9-0 run to cut the lead to eight points, but Rudy Gay went 1/2 from the line to stop the bleeding, and that was the last point scored in the third quarter. Kevin Durant led all scorers with 22 points on 7/19 shooting, and Klay Thompson was the next-highest scorer for the Warriors with 15 on 7/19 shooting. Quinn Cook was up to 13 points after his marvelous quarter. The Warriors shot a combined 40.6% (28/69) from the floor and 15.8% (3/19) from three through three quarters. LaMarcus Aldridge had 20 points and 15 rebounds to lead the Spurs, but Rudy Gay was right behind him with 19 points on 6/10 shooting. The Spurs were shooting a combined 43.7% (31/71) from the floor and 40% (8/20) from three. After the third quarter the Spurs led 79-70.

Quinn Cook got the fourth quarter started by going 1/2 from the charity stripe, and Marco Belinelli got the Spurs going with a nice cutting lay up. Jakob Poeltl got a shot to fall from inside the paint, and the Klay knocked down an elbow jumper after the Warriors had committed two turnovers on their previous three possessions. Quinn Cook nailed a deep two to get the lead back down to eight points and force a timeout from the Spurs. When timeout was called there was 9:11 left in the game and the Spurs led 83-75. Klay Thompson drilled a three to start the scoring and cut the lead to five points, but DeMar DeRozan answered back with an elbow jumper. Klay nailed an elbow jumper of his own, but they turned it over on the next possession which led to a LaMarcus Aldridge fadeaway. KD nailed a pull-up jumper, but DeRozan got a tough baseline floater to fall. The Warriors then called timeout with 5:37 left in the game and the Spurs leading 89-82. Jonas Jerebko got a tip-in to fall on a KD miss to get the scoring started again, and the lead was down to five. DeRozan got a tough layup to fall off the window, and Damien Jones was sent to the line, where he went 1/2. KD got to the line and made both free throws to cut the lead to four points with just over four minutes to play. Klay Thompson nailed a three in transition after a steal from Iguodala, that cut the lead to one, but DeRozan got a tough shot to fall on the next possession. Aldridge nailed a baseline jumper to get the lead back up to five, and he blocked Damien Jones on the other end of the floor. DeRozan got to the line and nailed two free throws to put the Spurs up seven with 2:07 to play. Kevon Looney made two free throws to get the lead down to five, but DeMar DeRozan got back to the line and went 1/2. Patty Mills nailed a three after several empty possessions from the Warriors to put the game on ice. Bryn Forbes nailed a three to get the final lead up to 12 points. When the final buzzer sounded the San Antonio Spurs had a 112-92 win.

LaMarcus Aldridge finished as the leading scorer for the Spurs with 24 points on 10/16 shooting. He also added 18 rebounds (6 offensive rebounds), three assists, and two blocks. DeMar DeRozan was the closer for the Spurs and finished with 20 points on 8/19 shooting with nine assists and six rebounds. Rudy Gay had 19 points on 6/10 shooting, Marco Belinelli had 12 on 5/15, and Bryn Forbes had 10 on 4/12 shooting. The Spurs finished the game shooting a combined 44.6% (41/92) from the floor, 41.7% (10/24) from three, and 70.6% (12/17) from the line.

Kevin Durant led the Warriors in scoring with 26 points on 8/25 shooting. He also had 10 rebounds, six assists, two steals, and a block. Klay Thompson finished with 25 points on 11/26 shooting. Those two combined to go 4/19 from three, which was an issue. Quinn Cook finished with 16 points on 7/12 shooting while also grabbing a career-high eight rebounds. Those were the only three Warriors in double figures. Jonas Jerebko had eight points with 10 rebound, Kevon Looney had six points with seven rebounds. The Warriors shot a combined 40.7% (35/86) from the floor, 19.2% (5/26) from three, and 81% (17/21) from the charity stripe.

This road trip has been a nightmare for the Warriors in the sense that they dropped three-straight games for the first time in a very long time, but it also came on the heels of the Draymond-KD debacle that took place on Monday night. The team was abysmal from three in all three of their Texas games, shooting a combined 23.37% (23/77). Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant had to carry the load offensively, but they couldn’t do it from beyond the arc. Klay was 5/27 and Durant was 1/14 (via @anthonyVslater on Twitter) , and their struggles from deep helped them to become two of the league’s top-five mid range shooters in terms of volume, surpassing mid range artists like DeMar DeRozan and LaMarcus Aldridge in the process.

Yes, it is frustrating watching this team lose, and lose in the manner that they have been losing in, but there is a silver lining here for the Warriors and their fans. With each loss that the Warriors have in which they look out of sync and can’t make threes, Stephen Curry’s case for his third MVP award grows. In 399 minutes with Steph on the floor, the Warriors have a combined +/- of +118, but with him off the court the Warriors are now -8 in 470 minutes (via @MicahAdams13 on Twitter). Now being hurt and missing time hurts his case at the same time, but you need to enjoy the little victories when your team is in the midst of a three-game losing streak.

The team did show signs of life tonight though, and they really battled down the stretch, so that was obviously encouraging. I’m not generally in the moral victory game, but seeing the Warriors compete the way they have against the Mavericks and Spurs after their blowout loss to the Rockets definitely has been good to see. The team obviously wants to win, and wants to compete at all times, which has been a welcome change from last year.

In essence, this was a tough loss, but it’s still just a game in the middle of November. It’s a long season and the Warriors will get back to their winning ways sooner rather than later.

This loss did end up dropping the Warriors to second place in the Western Conference, but again, it’s November and I imagine they’ll be back on top in no time.

The Warriors play next on Wednesday, November 21, at home against the Oklahoma City Thunder at 7:30 p.m.

Jackson WilliamsComment