Warriors take care of Business against the Shorthanded Spurs, win 122-105
After handling the Dallas Mavericks on Thursday night to bounce back from two-straight losses, the Golden State Warriors (42-13) would stay home and face the San Antonio Spurs (35-21). The Spurs, currently sit in third place in the Western Conference despite several key injuries, were 5-5 in their last ten games, and would be looking to keep the ball rolling and pick up their second-straight win. In order to do so though, they would have to beat the Warriors while missing several key players. The Spurs were missing Rudy Gay (right heel bursitis), Dejounte Murray (sprained ankle), Kawhi Leonard (quad), and Tony Parker (back tightness), while the Warriors were only missing Jordan Bell, who was still sitting out with his injured ankle. The Warriors would be looking to get hot while rolling into the All-Star Break, and doing so would require them to keep the ball rolling and beat the Spurs. The Warriors went on to win the game 122-105.
The Warriors got off to another slow start against the Spurs, and allowed them to get a quick 8-0 lead. The first quarter was a game of runs, as the Spurs went on a run, then the Warriors came back and went on an 8-point run, which was followed up by a 10-point run by the Spurs. The Warriors were not playing well defensively, allowing the Spurs to run their offense with ease, regardless of who was on the floor. The Spurs leading scorer was LaMarcus Aldridge, who had eight points, and hit several impressive mid-range jumpers. As a team, the Spurs shot the ball extremely well at 62%. The Warriors were shooting the ball well, 52.6% as a team, but were unable to get a lot of momentum because of some careless turnovers. Now, they only had four turnovers in the first quarter, which is an improvement, the issue was that they came at inopportune times. Stephen Curry led the Warriors in the first with 10 points, and he hit two threes to help get the offense moving. After the first, the Spurs led the Warriors 37-27.
The second quarter saw the Warriors’ second unit come out and play extremely well to tie the game with nearly five minutes left in the quarter. David West was leading the charge, and finished the quarter with 8 points on 4/4 shooting. Alongside him was Andre Iguodala, who was playing with assertiveness that hasn’t been seen from him all season, as well as Shaun Livingston, who was doing it all, from scoring in the post to blocking shots on the perimeter. It was a back-and-forth battle until the end of the half to see who would have the lead heading to the break. The Warriors nabbed the lead down the stretch thanks to a three from Stephen Curry as well as a three from Draymond Green. The Warriors continued to shoot the ball well as a team, and finished the half shooting 56.1% overall and 50% from three. The Warriors’ leading scorer was Stephen Curry with 15 points, and Draymond Green was close behind with 11 points. The Spurs struggled shooting the ball as the second quarter dragged on, but they were still shooting 52.3% at the half, which was still good, but not as great as the 62% from after the first quarter. Kyle Anderson and LaMarcus Aldridge were tied for the lead in scoring on the Spurs with 14 points each. Kyle Anderson was running the offense at the end of the half, and made several mid-range shots to keep the game close. At the half, the Warriors led 58-55.
In the third quarter, the Warriors got things going thanks to some great ball movement to find the open man. Everyone was getting involved. After a particularly quiet half from Klay and Durant, they both were putting up shots early in the third. Klay Thompson stood out in particular, as he threw down a monster slam and then drained a three on the following possession. Klay's dunk drew an incredible reaction from the Warriors bench, which was hilarious. The Warriors also found the birthday boy, Zaza Pachulia, several times, and he picked up his 10th dunk of the season. They also found him several other times, and by the time the third quarter ended, he had 12 points. Draymond Green also made several nice plays, one of which was a monster dunk. Throughout the quarter, the Warriors turned their defense up to another level, and were able to keep the Spurs at bay. They finished the quarter with five blocks and five steals, while the Spurs’ shooting percentage continued to plummet to 43.8%. The Warriors’ shooting percentage was still excellent at 56.5%, and they were also shooting the ball well from three at 44.4%. The Splash Brothers were leading the way for the Warriors. Steph finished the quarter with 17 points, and Klay was right behind him with 16 points after catching fire in the middle of the third. The Warriors were moving the ball really well, and had 28 assists at the end of the quarter, which is an indicator for how great their offense was. Heading to the final quarter, the Warriors led 91-75.
For the second straight game, the fourth quarter was garbage time for nearly its’ entirety. Klay Thompson was able to stay hot though, and he played for half of the quarter. He finished the game with 25 points to lead the Warriors. He hit several impressive shots, and went 5/6 from three. Nick Young got hot in garbage time, as he tends to do, being the only real three point threat off the bench, and finished with nine points in just four minutes. The Warriors finished the game shooting 56.5% from the field, which included 44.4% from three. They tallied 35 assists, which was a big part of why their offense was so effective. The Warriors won the game 122-105.
There isn’t much to take away from this game. The Warriors got off to another slow start, and were bailed out in the second quarter by David West and Company. West has continued to be incredible off the bench for the Warriors, and is a big reason for any success the second unit has. This game was nearly just a repeat of their last game, just with better shooting and more scoring.The Warriors really showed up in the third quarter, and that is when they put the game away. In the end, they should have on the game, and they did. The Spurs were basically playing with one hand tied behind their back because of all their injuries, and as the game rolled on, it was clear that they needed their guys for this game.
Klay Thompson led all scorers with 25 points, and was absolutely lights-out in the second half. He makes shooting look so much easier than it really is, and I don’t think he gets enough credit for that. Stephen Curry was the next highest scorer, and he had 17 points. He only scored once in the second half, and it was a acrobatic layup in the closing seconds of the third. Draymond Green nearly had a triple-double, finishing with 17 points, 11 assists, and eight rebounds. David West was incredible off the bench, and had 13 points on 6/6 shooting. Zaza Pachulia celebrated his birthday in style, with one of his best games of the year. He had 12 points, and threw down his tenth dunk of the year.
The Warriors play next on Monday, February 12, at home against the Phoenix Suns at 7:30 p.m.