The San Antonio Spurs dominating second half led them to an 18-point blowout win of the Golden State Warriors on Tuesday night, and now lead the series 3-2, with Game 6 on Thursday. I think we’ve covered enough in last night’s game recap to not rehash here, so let’s get to what everyone’s been waiting for. It’s happy game grades time!
Who’s Hot: Kawhi Leonard played beautifully tonight. He’s slightly struggled with his shot and confidence this series, especially from the free throw line, but Leonard looked like the budding star we peg him to be last night. He didn’t get to the line, but his only miss on the night, was contested corner-3 in the second quarter. Assertive and efficient.
Who’s Not: The Splash Brothers. Harrison Barnes has suddenly become the focal point of Golden State’s offense, since the Spurs have practically locked down Klay and Steph. Mark Jackson said after Game 2, “Offensively, I’ve got the greatest shooting backcourt that’s ever played the game. Call my bluff.” Yeah, Gregg Popovich has done exactly that. That great backcourt shot a combined 27% last night (6/22) for just 13 points.
Another great stat from Ethan Strauss at Warriors World:
Klay has averaged 43.8 minutes these past 4 games, all without drawing a foul. He’s shooting 36.8% at the rim over that span.
— Ethan Strauss (@SherwoodStrauss) May 15, 2013
Turning Point: The Warriors patented 3rd quarter run came with with 9:04 left, after a Carl Landry jumper made it 60-58, Spurs. Following that shot, the Spurs went on an 11-2 run to go up 71-60. Golden State never got the deficit to less than 6 points for the rest of the night.
Up Next: Close it out at Oracle. The Spurs can’t afford to come back for a Game 7 on Sunday, with Memphis on the verge of clinching their series tonight. San Antonio needs all the rest they can get. Win on Thursday in Oakland and savor the victory, because the Western Conference Finals is about to be an all out war.
PG Tony Parker | 25 points (9-16 shooting), 2 rebounds, 10 assists, 1 steal
Parker was very quiet to start the night, getting Duncan involved and looking for teammates to score first. TP didn’t score his first points until the 5:58 mark, and then rallied to score 6 straight, to lead the Spurs on a 15-0 run.
SG Danny Green | 16 points (6-10 shooting), 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 steals, 1 block
Green was everyone on defense, and played with great tenacity on offense. Green’s 7 point second quarter helped keep the Spurs afloat, during what was a poor offensive quarter, with the team shooting just 33%.
SF Kawhi Leonard | 17 points (7-8 shooting), 7 rebounds, 1 assists, 2 steals
Leonard played almost as efficient as can be. It was obvious his confidence was soaring last night, as he created his own shot with ease. The most telling part of Kawhi’s game is when he’s causing havoc on defense. His two steals led to two wonderful fast breaks. More of that, please.
PF Tim Duncan | 14 points (5-13 shooting), 11 rebounds, 3 assists
Tim Duncan started the game 3-4 shooting and then couldn’t find his jumpshot the rest of the night. Even though the team seemingly performed better with him on the bench last night, his rebounding and defense helped lead the Spurs on a night where everyone else scored at will. If this team is to win a championship, Duncan obviously has to shoot better, but right now the Spurs can survive. Also, his 134th career playoff double-double tied Wilt Chamberlain for 2nd all-time last night.
C Tiago Splitter | 4 points (1-2 shooting), 6 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals
Tiago’s only basket came on a gorgeous move in the post. Almost “Dream Shake” like. Alright, I’m getting ahead of myself. Golden State’s offense doesn’t allow the Spurs to play both bigs at the same time, and Bogut is too skilled for Splitter to play more than 25 minutes. That being said, Tiago was alert on defense and caused plenty of turnovers.
Bench | 33 points (12-28 shooting), 9 rebounds, 12 assists, 3 steals, 2 blocks
Ginobili had a below average shooting night, and forced a lot of unnecessary passes, but Boris Diaw played wonderfully once again with 8 points and 3 assists. Every Spurs bench player scored except for Gary Neal and Tracy McGrady. But T-Mac had two beautiful blocks and blew past The Ghost of Richard Jefferson, leading to an assist on a DeJuan Blair layup. So for that, the bench gets: