It’s the continuation of a first-round Western Conference playoff series in the city by the bay.The San Antonio Spurs, seeded seventh, play Game 2 of their best of seven set with the second-seeded Golden State Warriors Monday night. Golden State rolled to a 113-92 victory in the opening game of the series Saturday afternoon at home. The Spurs lead the all-time regular season series 107-60 though the Warriors took three of four this season: San Antonio won the last meeting 89-75 at home on March 19. Golden State has won two of the three playoff series and owns a 10-5 edge in game wins entering this contest.
San Antonio Spurs Hope to Avoid 2-0 Hole
San Antonio proved to be no match on the hardwood in the opener against the defending champs as they were hammered pretty comfortably in the contest. The Spurs simply don’t have the weapons to contend offensively and their usually stingy defense was exploited by the quickness and versatility of the Golden State rotation players. The Spurs were limited to 40 percent shooting in the contest, including a nine of 22 showing from three point range. San Antonio had no presence on the glass as they were hammered 51-30 in that department.
Rudy Gay led the Spurs with 15 points off the bench in the loss while Bryn Forbes added 14 in a reserve role. LaMarcus Aldridge was the lone starter to finish in double figures as he had 14 points: the Spurs’ other four starters combined to shoot seven of 18 and totaled 19 points in the contest. The choice to move Pau Gasol from the starting lineup in place of Dejounte Murray didn’t pan out: what will Gregg Popovich try to avoid seeing his team go down 2-0 in the series?
Golden State Warriors Seek to Defend Home Floor
Golden State looked more like the team that has made three straight NBA Finals appearances than a team that lost 10 of their final 17 regular season games with their Game 1 showing. The Warriors pushed the tempo, harassed San Antonio shooters, punished the Spurs on the glass and shot the ball efficiently. Golden State jumped to an 11 point lead after the first quarter, pushed the lead to 16 at the half and 23 after three quarters to leave no doubt about the end result. The Warriors shot 54.3 percent from the field and connected on 10 of their 22 three point attempts in the win. Golden State collected a hefty 51-30 advantage on the glass to help overcome 15 turnovers in the contest.
Klay Thompson paced the Warriors with 27 points in the win as he hit 11 of 13 from the floor, including five of six from beyond the arc. Kevin Durant contributed 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while JaVale McGee, plugged into the starting lineup, added 15 points plus a pair of blocks. Draymond Green chipped in 12 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists while Shaun Livingston added 11 points off the bench. Andre Iguodala, who got the starting nod over Quinn Cook, had just three points but collected seven rebounds while dishing four assists in 23 minutes of action as Steve Kerr’s moves worked in the opener.
- Spurs are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 road games
- Spurs are 0-4 ATS in their last 4 vs. NBA Pacific
- Spurs are 0-8 ATS in their last 8 road games vs. a team with a winning home record
- Warriors are 4-1-1 ATS in their last 6 Monday games
San Antonio looked old and worn out in the opener as they couldn’t close out on Golden State shooters, leaving plenty of open and lightly contested shots for the taking. The Spurs were overmatched on the interior as trying to match small ball with the Warriors simply didn’t work. Murray has the ability to defend multiple positions but his offense is spotty and he can’t guard all five guys at once. Popovich has to try and catch lightning in a bottle as the Spurs are heading back to the Lone Star State in a 2-0 series hole.
Pick: Golden State Warriors -9.5
Game 1 can be summed up pretty simply: the moves that Popovich made simply didn’t work. On the flip side, the choices Kerr made paid dividends for the Warriors. Zaza Pachulia didn’t even see action in the contest and Golden State still had a +21 edge on the glass. The Spurs are going to have to find some scoring options and quickly: they simply can’t expect that Golden State is going to go frigid from the floor multiple times in a seven game series. That means Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, Patty Mills and the other perimeter shooters are going to have to step up and make some shots or this is going to be a quick, unceremonious exit for San Antonio.
The Spurs’ inability to shoot the ball well and their lack of success on the glass helped keep Game 1 under the total but by only half a point. San Antonio knows that they’re going to have to come up with a better strategy in Game 2 on the offensive end. That helps this one end up getting pushed over the total by a couple points.