Despite a slow start, the Golden State Warriors were able to get a huge win today at “Roaracle”.
The Spurs ramped up their defensive intensity early, leading the Warriors to a 37 point first half. But things came together for GS in the second half and their fourth quarter push ended with a chance to win the game in regulation with the final shot.
The Warriors put the ball in Jarrett Jack’s hands (I have no idea why…I think it has to do with Mark Jackson being a nut) in the final seconds. Considering that the ball didn’t touch Klay Thompson’s or Steph Curry’s hands, things went ok as Jack got a decent look at a jumper. The shot came up short and the game went to overtime.
The momentum stayed with Golden State in overtime (or as my mom calls it “overkill” #happymothersday!) and the Warriors sent 20,000 gold shirt-wearing bay area fans home happy. The final score was 97-87.
Steph Curry was a warrior in more ways than one today, as he played 39 minutes despite an ankle injury. He also was pretty effective, hitting five three pointers and dropping in a total of 22 points, but he wasn’t taking on the Spurs by himself. Andrew Bogut had one of his best games since…ever, pulling down 18 rebounds and serving as a defensive presence all day. Also terrific was the play of rookie Harrison Barnes. Barnes was the Dubs’ go-to guy for most of the day and he delivered quite often. Barnes finished with 26 points and 10 boards. Jack also poured in 24 points off the bench. Klay Thompson had an off-day, but still managed to score some very important buckets down the stretch. He finished with 10.
As for the Spurs, they shot really badly. The Warriors didn’t shoot well either, but it just felt like the Spurs, especially late, were just missing shots left and right. Golden State played solid D, but, at a certain point, the Spurs were flat out cold. Tony Parker went 6 of 17 from the field. Timmy D was even worse–7 for 22. Danny Green finished 4-13 and most of his shots weren’t even close to going in. Manu Ginobili was hot early on but cooled off considerably over the course of the game, and horribly airmailed an uncontested three pointer late. He still managed to finish with 21 points, the most he has scored in a game thus far in the playoffs.
Heading back to San Antonio, this series is tied at 2-2. While the Warriors could be up 3-1 if they had closed out a tight game one, they still are in a solid position. The Spurs looked gassed late today, and the youthful Warriors may be able to take advantage of the Spurs’ fatigue in the coming games. They also showed today that they can win without scoring a ridiculous amount of points. They should look to turn the ball over less frequently going forward.
The Spurs meanwhile need to do a better job of competing on the boards. They have been outrebounded in every game so far in the series.
Game five will be pivotal. If Stephen Curry is feeling good and the Warriors bring high-level intensity, they will be hard to beat. The Spurs really need to defend their home court. If they lose game five, the Warriors will be licking their lips coming back to Oakland for game six.