It wasn’t the prettiest victory, but the San Antonio Spurs escaped the hobbled Golden State Warriors 89-75 on a late push by LaMarcus Aldridge. San Antonio extended their win streak to four games and has taken sole possession of the fifth seed in the Western Conference.
Time and time again, LaMarcus Aldridge has carried the silver and black on the offensive end of the floor. His elite footwork and crafty post game have been the saving grace of a rocky season for the Spurs. He scored 33 points on 13-22 shooting after a quiet night through three quarters.
Aldridge single-handedly outscored the Warriors 19-12 in the fourth quarter, putting away what became a close match late in the third.
If we’re going to be completely honest, this was not a good game for either team by any measure. Outside of the occasional run, neither team shot the ball particularly well and combined for 11 made three-pointers on 42 attempts from deep. In addition to the shooting, they combined for 29 turnovers and 44 personal fouls in the night.
This is largely due to the physical nature of the matchup. While they may have been shorthanded, the Warriors’ role players have been a collective thorn in the side of Spurs fans for years. Reigning Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green left the game midway through the second quarter with a pelvic collusion.
Draymond Green left the game with a pelvic contusion. X-rays were negative. He will not return tonight.
— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) March 20, 2018
As devastating as this may be for the depleted Warriors, this opened up the opportunity for Quinn Cook, a two-way G League player, to torch the Spurs for 20 points, five rebounds and five assists. Since the ankle injury to Stephen Curry, Cook has been lighting up the league with his run-and-gun offense.
Even so, the spread offensive attack and smothering defense of the Spurs proved to be too much. With five players scoring nine or more points, San Antonio’s balanced plan of attack kept the Warriors on their toes.
While their impact on the box score may not jump out, both Danny Green and Dejounte Murray were fantastic defensively on the wing. Golden State, as diminished as they may be, is still a massive threat from behind the arc. With this in mind, Green and Murray chased Cook, Nick Young, Andre Iguodala and Patrick McCaw over screens for nearly 30 minutes each.
Furthermore, Murray made history by breaking Johnny Moore’s all-time record of 378 rebounds by a Spurs point guard in a single season. He finished with a solid all-around stat line of nine points, eight rebounds, five assists and a steal.
Next up, the Spurs will host Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards for the fifth game of their six-game homestand. Even after the boost in the standings, San Antonio is just one game removed from the eighth seed and will look to extend their winning streak to five.