The Margin: Golden State Warriors 107, San Antonio Spurs 101

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It being Friday night and the second night of a back-to-back, I feel like going with The Margin for the format of the evening’s recap. One bullet point for each point difference in the San Antonio Spurs’ 107-101 overtime loss to the Golden State Warriors.

  • The first thing that comes to mind in this game was how great of a role Manu Ginobili played. He’s been off and on when he’s played this season, but Friday night against the Warriors felt like the first time that the ball was in his hands in crucial situations. Ginobili finished with 18 points on 8-of-17 shooting and five rebounds. Late in the game the Spurs were putting the ball in his hands at the top of the key and letting him run pick-and-rolls, much like they did a couple of seasons ago. Manu scored the basket to force overtime on a very nice play where Ginobili threw the ball to Tim Duncan at the high post and rubbed his man off on Duncan, receiving the pass and scoring a layup. Despite the loss, it was an encouraging sign for Spurs to see Ginobili play such a pivotal role in the game.
  • Tony Parker, on the other hand, didn’t have such a great game. Parker shot 7-of-18 from the field and never found the space to run the offense the way he has been. The Warriors were doing a very good job of being physical with Parker and he wasn’t finding the driving lanes he’s been used to this season. Parker was also unable to find much in the way of transition opportunities. The only one I remember came near the end of overtime and Parker missed the attempt at the rim. Similar story for Duncan, who shot 6-of-16 on the evening.
  • All in all, this felt a lot like a playoff game, and not in the cliché way that media people say, usually with regards to the atmosphere and crowd noise. I mean a playoff atmosphere in the way the game was played. It was physical, the refs let a lot of stuff go. The Spurs never found their timing or rhythm offensively. I’m sure some of that comes down to fatigue, but plenty of credit goes to the Warriors defense as well.
  • David Lee was a monster for the Warriors. 25 points and 22 rebounds will open a lot of eyes. 17 of those rebounds were defensive boards, which tells you how well the Spurs were shooting on the night. San Antonio finished the night a hair under 39 percent from the floor, which, as you know, isn’t good. Lee also pulled down five offensive rebounds.
  • There may be something to the Spurs being a little tired in this game, their third in four nights. San Antonio only turned the ball over nine times on the game, but gave up a whopping 25 fast break points. Normally the Spurs’ transition defense is solid and their opponents’ fast break points come off of live ball turnovers. Not on Friday night.
  • There was one major turn of events in overtime when the Spurs held a 98-96 lead with about two minutes left. Stephen Curry drove and lost the ball out of bounds, with the refs making the decision that it was Warriors ball. The Spurs protested and the officials went to review the play. Looking at the reviews, it looked like Manu, defending Curry on the drive, didn’t touch the ball before it went out of bounds. He did foul Curry on the wrist as Curry lost the ball out of bounds, though. The officials came back and awarded the ball to the Warriors and on the ensuing possession, Klay Thompson sank a long jumper to tie the game. I made a joke on Twitter during the replay that if the refs gave the ball to Golden State, then the refs on Thursday night should’ve said that Danny Green‘s last second shot in the first half, when he was clubbed across the face by Chauncey Billups, should’ve come before the buzzer sounded. I’m kind of wondering what happened now. It seemed like the refs made a decision that, though the ball didn’t go off of Manu, Curry wouldn’t have lost it if he wasn’t fouled. I’m not sure. This is one of those situations where I wish the officials were made available to the media after games so that questions could be asked.
  • Andrew G

    That call in favor of the Warriors was absolute bullshit, and yes, I brought up the bullshit noncall on Green last night when Billups armbarred him in the face to my drinking buddy who missed it. There were makeup calls all night, and the last one was a pivotal icing on the cake. Obviously Manu fouled Curry, but it wasn’t called so that wasn’t what was at stake. REALLY it looked like Curry lost the ball before Manu even touched, him, but the refs, being in the makeupcally mood, gave it to the home team.

    After watching Tim shoot without hesitation against the Clippers, it seemed he was taking a second longer with his shots against the Warriors, and he missed a lot as a result. The refs were calling a much tighter game against the Clippers than the one we had against the Warriors, so Tony didn’t get as many calls to the free throw line, the final score was evident of that.

  • Graham

    I disagree. That call was pretty 50/50, and watching the replay I did think that the Refs were thinking that they missed the foul on Curry that made him lose the ball, and decided to let the call stand to equal things out more or less. We could have lived with that play, but the real killer was Ginobilli’s turnover shortly after that gave Jack the fastbreak score.

  • GoSpursGo

    The call was tecnically incorrect, but was the right thing to do. Manu did foul him, but you can’t review the play to call a foul. So, awarding GS the ball was the right outcome, even though it was a technically illegal call (the refs should have made the determination on who touched the ball last only, and it was Curry). Not too worked up about the call, as the right outcome occurred.

  • GoSpursGo

    Fatiguewas a definite factor for Duncan. He left a lot of fadeaways on the front iron. A win would have been nice, and a little more breathing room in the standings would help. But this was a loseable game (second half of a back to back against a good team on the road).

  • NewMexicoSpursFan

    Manu was more involved, yes, but the Spurs lost . . . something they haven’t done much lately. I am acutely aware how important Manu has been to this organization over the last 10 years. However, i find myself wondering if it’s time to move on from (or if we’ve ALREADY moved past) the Manu era . . .

  • Mantis

    Kawhi on the post up was an intriguing development. I wish there was an enterprising Spurs website that could compile each one for YouTube. Okay, thanks and bye!

  • Colin

    Klay Thompson’s defense was the difference in Tony Parker’s pedestrian night. That combined with being the 2nd game in 2 nights

  • Lukedawg

    Random observation but did anybody notice how much players seemed to be slipping on the court? Go back and watch parker, it seemed like he was on skates all night and that might have limited his effectiveness in getting into the Lane more consistently than he did. Manu had a couple of groin splitting slips as well.

  • junierizzle

    They have. They don’t need Manu as much but they still need him. They were up ten in the fourth. I hope you’re not insinuating they lost because of Manu. Yes he turned it over at the end but who left Jack open to hit that big three?

  • JT

    Best way to guard the Spurs, switch everything, we are not a good one on one team. I hope Timmy didnt waste his all star season in the beginning, lets hope he still got something in the tank.

  • Graham

    I did notice that too. Nothing super game breaking though I thought.

  • Graham

    Depends on who’s doing the switching. The Warriors have a guard heavy lineup with lots of guys that can adequately cover Parker. That and the travel probably wore down the team a bit, and Parker in particular. Don’t read too much into it, unless it happens again, and it didn’t the other two Warriors games….

  • David

    Wow, that fast and your ready to just move on from Manu.

  • http://www.facebook.com/brandon.burkhart Brandon Burkhart

    Honestly, we need to stop looking at Manu as a superstar. Now he’s filling a Robert Horry-like role — he’ll always contribute something positive when he’s on the court, and every once in a while he’ll be the reason we win a game. Tony Parker is our offensive superstar, Tim Duncan is our defensive superstar, and Manu Ginobili is our former star who’s now an extremely gifted role player.

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