The San Antonio Spurs (65-12) and the Golden State Warriors (69-9) prepare for round three on Thursday. Both have won on their respective home courts with the latest being in San Antonio.
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The Warriors winning their next four would catapult them to 73 wins on the season. Two of those are against the Spurs. With the regular season is drawing to a close as this is the time of year that Head Coach Gregg Popovich rests key players in preparation for the playoffs. A week ago, Parker had stated Pop will more than likely rest his starters against the final two games against the Warriors. On Wednesday, Parker changed his tune stating that he believes the Spurs will face the Warriors with full deck.
“I didn’t think we were going to play this one (in Utah),” Parker said. “Now that we’ve played this one, I don’t see any reason we don’t play at Golden State.”
If this is true, fans will be treated to another great game between two teams that will more than likely meet one another in the Western Conference Finals. For both of these teams the bigger priority down the stretch is securing the top seed in the Western Conference. The Warriors can achieve this with a combination of two wins or Spurs losses, and getting their game back in top form for the start of the postseason next week.
Mar 19, 2016; San Antonio, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) prepares to go into the game against the San Antonio Spurs at the AT&T Center. Spurs won 89-79. Mandatory Credit: Erich Schlegel-USA TODAY Sports
With two losses in their past three home games, a recent uptick in turnovers and a loss of defensive intensity, the grinding NBA season is finally showing signs of taking its toll on the Warriors. The past weeks have gotten tougher with Tuesday night’s 124-117 overtime loss to Minnesota being Golden State’s fourth loss in the past month after falling just five times in the first four months of the season.
The world has been watching and eyeing what the Warriors have been doing all season long. The pressure of chasing the record has been on Golden State since they opened the season by winning the first 24 games.
Possibly dampening the excitement for the two upcoming showdowns with the Spurs are questions about how seriously San Antonio will take the games. Popovich frequently rests veterans and he has not said how he will approach these two contests.
The Warriors on the other hand plan to go all-in. With a win against San Antonio on Thursday, Golden State can clinch home-court advantage through-out the playoffs.
In their last meeting on March 19th, LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 on 11-of-25 shooting from the floor while Kawhi Leonard finished with 18 to lead the Spurs to a 87-79 win. Spurs defense clamped down on Stephen Curry as he was held to 4-of-18 shooting from the floor, finishing with 14 points. The Warriors were held to 37.8-percent shooting from the floor.
The game is scheduled to tip-off at 10:30 Eastern and can be seen Nationally on TNT.