Spurs hammer Warriors for 19th straight win
Make that 19 in a row. The San Antonio Spurs move on to Oklahoma City after defeating the Golden State Warriors 111-90. The win comes despite a poor shooting night beyond the arc as the Spurs made just four of their 19 3-point attempts.
Despite that, the Spurs shot 53 percent overall. That means they shot an incredible 63 percent on 2-point shots. That goes to show how good the Spurs ball movement is right now and how bad the Warriors defense is without Andre Iguodala and Andrew Bogut.
The Warriors started quick, scoring the first four points of the game. Clearly unhappy with the lethargic start, head coach Gregg Popovich called a timeout just a minute in to the game to say something—some of which probably shouldn’t be repeated. San Antonio quickly turned the tide, jumping out to a 16-4 lead thanks to some Kawhi Leonard defense and Tim Duncan offense.
With no Bogut, or even David Lee, the Warriors started the game playing small with Draymond Green at power forward. With only Jermaine O’Neal as a deterrent, Duncan had a field day early, scoring 12 of his 15 points in the first quarter.
The Spurs’ attempts to pull away were thwarted by their own poor shooting in the second quarter. San Antonio made just one of their seven 3-point attempts. That, combined with 10 second quarter points from Jordan Crawford, made it look like the Warriors could keep it close going in to the half.
However, their lack of size on the interior continued to aide the Spurs. Three offensive rebounds led to the final six points of the half to give the Spurs a 15-point halftime lead.
The second half started with Tony Parker blitzing the Warriors defense at every opportunity. Parker scored or assisted on five of the Spurs’ first six baskets in the third quarter. Meanwhile, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson both woke up from their first half slumber, combining for 11 points in the first six minutes of the half, which allowed to Warriors to pull back within 10.
A Marreesse Speights 6-2 run got the Warriors within seven points. Despite the Speights outburst, the Spurs were again able to show their depth, as the bench ignited a 13-0 run to finish the quarter, putting San Antonio back on top by 20 at the end of third quarter.
That run put the game out of reach, as Duncan and Parker were able to rest the entire fourth quarter and Manu Ginobili was able to sit the final 10 minutes. Jeff Ayres started the period with a huge dunk and another basket. The Warriors, playing on the second night of a back-to-back waved the white flag shortly thereafter. The fourth quarter was mostly mop up duty for both teams as the Spurs cruised.
Next up is a Thursday night matchup against the Oklahoma City Thunder. A win would all but clinch the number one seed in the Western Conference for the Spurs. However, it’s the second night of a back-to-back. The Thunder have also had the start of the week off. The Thunder will be without Thabo Sefalosha and Kendrick Perkins for sure, and Russell Westbrook typically hasn’t been playing on the first night of back-to-backs. This might be a case where everyone starts, but Pop isn’t hesitant to pull the starters if things go sideways. We’ll see, he didn’t say one way or another after the game.
Streak note: According to NBA.com, Wednesday night’s win matched the 2000 Los Angeles Lakers and 2008 Boston Celtics for the sixth longest all time. A win against Oklahoma City would tie San Antonio with the 1971 Milwaukee Bucks. Reminder, they’re still 14 games back of the ’72 Los Angeles Lakers and wouldn’t be able to top the mark before the season ends.