Warriors Overcome Sluggish Start, Beat Spurs 112-92
After a couple of days off after dismantling the Clippers, the Warriors rolled into San Antonio to try and get their sixth win of the season, and put their championship hangover behind them. They got off to a slow start in the first half, but ultimately were able to pull out a win.
The Golden State Warriors, clearly unhappy with how well they played on Monday against the Clippers, collectively decided to let the San Antonio Spurs spank them from the very start of the game. They started the game extremely sloppily, committing “4” turnovers in the first quarter, of course there were more than 4 turnovers, but the scorekeepers decided to make all of Kevin Durant’s turnovers into blocked shots by the Spurs. The Warriors gave up open three after open three, and the Spurs made 6 threes in the opening quarter. Golden State did make a run at the end to make the score look a lot closer than it felt, as Stephen Curry hit two late threes, and the quarter ended with San Antonio leading Golden State 33-24. During the quarter, both coaches were visibly frustrated, Coach Pop because of his teams sloppiness (4 turnovers), and Coach Kerr because he felt the Warriors were not enough foul calls. Kerr ended up getting a technical and had to be restrained by Mike Brown on the bench.
The second quarter saw the Warriors cut into the Spurs’ lead, thanks in large part due to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who are doing the majority of the scoring for the team. Steph scored 15 points on 5-7 shooting, including 3-4 from three, while Klay Thompson had 17 points on 7-12 shooting, including 3-6 from deep. Outside of those two though, the Warriors have had a poor offensive night. Without the Splash Bros, the rest of the team was shooting just 7-20, and Kevin Durant was a large part of that, going 1-9. The Warriors got outrebounded 16-27, and the Spurs getting so many second chance shots is a reason that they were leading at halftime. The Warriors also committed 9 turnovers in the half, and were down at halftime 55-50.
During the third quarter, the Warriors stormed back to take a lead for the first time all game. The Warriors rode on the back of Kevin Durant in the third quarter, as he turned around his luck from the first half to the tune of 15 points in the third quarter. The Warriors also got a strong performance from Draymond Green, who ended the quarter with 14 points. The Warriors managed to slow down the Spurs and held them to just 23 points in the quarter. The Warriors also only turned the ball over twice in the quarter, which was a large improvement from the first half. The Warriors led after the third quarter, 84-78.
The Warriors managed to keep the Spurs at bay in the fourth quarter to grab a big win. The Spurs were held to just 14 points in the fourth quarter, and Coach Pop was so upset, he got himself ejected. The Warriors spent most of the fourth quarter with their bench players in, and ran out the clock, but managed to grab a bigger lead to win the game 112-92.
The combination of Klay Thompson, Stephen Curry, and Kevin Durant led the charge for the warriors and combined for 72 points, with Klay putting up 27 points on 64.7% shooting. As a team, the Warriors shot 51.8% from the field, including 50% from 3. Kevin Durant was able to overcome a 1-9 first half to put up 24 points on 50% shooting. While the Spurs got off to a scorching start in the first quarter, but were held to less than 23 points in each quarter for the rest of the game, and shot just 39.1%.
My main takeaway from this game was that this kind of game is what we can expect from the Warriors for the rest of the regular season. The team will tend to sleepwalk through the beginning of a game, and pick it up in the second half and win on behalf of the fact that they are just more talented than any other team. They will continue to struggle with sloppiness and turnovers, which they did tonight, turning the ball over 14 times.
Another thing to note is that Klay Thompson is quietly having the best season of his career. He is averaging 21 points per game, on 51.1% shooting and 43.5% from three, all three of which are higher than his career average. I expect Klay Thompson to continue shooting this well, and if he does, it will only create more opportunities for Steph and KD to get more wide open looks, making the offense more deadly. Today marks the beginning of my Klay Thompson for MVP campaign.
The Golden State Warriors play next in Denver against the Nuggets on Saturday, November 4, at 6 p.m.