For the second straight season, the San Antonio Spurs are back in the Western Conference Finals.
Tonight’s game can’t be stated any easier than the Spurs playing Spurs basketball. Despite Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili shooting a combined 4-of-22 (18%), the two racked up 19 of San Antonio’s 27 assists. Also leading the way for San Antonio was Kawhi Leonard with 16 points and 10 rebounds.
On the other hand, it was a valiant effort for the Golden State Warriors. The Warriors offense was suffocated by the Spurs defense once again, as Golden State was held to just 38% from the field. Steph Curry tried his best to play hero ball, leading the Warriors with 22 points (on 25 shots) and 6 assists.
The game was a lot closer than the score indicates. Both teams came out slightly hesitant, leading to six lead changes in the first quarter. After a David Lee miss, Kawhi Leonard rebounded the ball and came down for an easy lay-up to take the lead, 16-15 with 3:09 left in the first quarter.
Golden State would never get closer than a tied game after that point.
What was impressive about the Spurs victory, was their ability to weather every Golden State run. Regardless of how gassed Parker, Ginobili and Duncan looked, they kept plugging away on both ends of the floor. In the last 3 minutes, Ginobili assisted on all three game clinching three-pointers.
First Parker in the corner.
A minute later, Leonard in the same corner.
And finally, Parker with the dagger in the other corner.
Somewhere Bruce Bowen is smiling proudly.
Up next for the Spurs, Sunday afternoon at 2:30, versus the Memphis Grizzlies.
Eight wins down, eight more to go. Go Spurs Go.
Some quick game notes:
- With Golden State down 77-75, Popovich sat Tim Duncan in favor of Tiago Splitter. The Spurs ended the game on a 19-7 run in those last 4 minutes, with Duncan on the bench. Never question the Church of Pop.
- The Warriors have dominated the Spurs on the glass with the exception of Games 4 and 5. Even with Golden State pulling down 11 offensive rebounds, they only ended up with 40 rebounds on the night. The Spurs had 40 defensive rebounds alone. A good sign going into the Memphis series.
- Every Spurs starter scored in double figures tonight. (Green: 11, Parker: 13, Splitter: 14, Leonard: 16, Duncan: 19). Signs of how balanced the offense was.
- I don’t even remember how many times we’ve mentioned the Spurs must share the ball on offense, to beat the Warriors. And tonight they did just that. San Antonio had 9 assists on 9 field goals in the first quarter, and finished the game with 27 assists on 33 field goals. Remarkable.
Tweet of the Night
Everyone wants revenge. And two years later, the Spurs will finally get there chance.
/Spurs crawl out of the grave, kick Curry back into it /slam coffin shut /slowly get up /Grizzlies wave
— Hardwood Paroxysm (@HPbasketball) May 17, 2013