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