The San Antonio Spurs struggled on offense against Golden State, resulting in a 21-point Game 1 beatdown
Before the season started, many would have considered a San Antonio Spurs playoff matchup against the Golden State Warriors to be a chance at redemption. After the Spurs lost Kawhi Leonard for essentially the entire season and barely scrapped their way into the seventh seed, the series holds significantly less promise. Despite missing a marquee player of their own in Steph Curry, the Warriors length on defense and offensive versatility gave the Spurs fits and may signal an early postseason exit for the silver and black after a lopsided Game 1 defeat, 113-92.
No, that's not Kawhi Leonard parachuting in to save the Spurs. pic.twitter.com/ZJnejQ0Fbd
— Michael C. Wright (@mikecwright) April 14, 2018
The Golden State Warriors started Andre Iguodala at point guard in the absence of Steph Curry and gave JaVale McGee the starting nod over Zaza Pachulia, giving their already lengthy starting lineup an even bigger advantage against the Spurs. From the outset, the San Antonio struggled to find an offensive rhythm, as McGee held LaMarcus Aldridge in check and the rest of the Spurs seemed unable to find space to shoot or drive.
San Antonio quickly fell behind, but trailed by only 11 points at the end of the first period, thanks in part to a buzzer-beating three-pointer by Manu Ginobili. San Antonio failed to make significant adjustments in the second quarter, and although they looked better against the Warriors bench, it was clear the Spurs had bitten off more than they could chew.
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To start the second half, the Spurs elected to run the offense through Rudy Gay in much the same way they used Kawhi Leonard last season, but were unable to get stops on the defensive end. Dejounte Murray picked up several quick fouls to start the half, forcing Popovich to pull the second-year pro early in the third quarter, and the Warriors lead ballooned to 20 by the end of the period. Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant were able to roam the court at will and seemed completely unimpeded by the Spurs defense, and that combined with the suffocating Warriors defense was enough to seal the Game 1 victory.
Either in a last ditch effort to throw everything the had at the Warriors or an early sign of concession, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich inserted Davis Bertans and Derrick White and pulled the starters relatively early in the second half, and San Antonio was simply unable to make up any ground against the Warriors lead, ultimately resulting in a final tally of 113-92.
Gay led the Spurs in scoring with 15 points and Aldridge added 14 before in the losing effort. The Spurs were outrebounded 51-30 in the loss. For the Warriors, Klay Thompson led the way with 27 points on 11-for-13 shooting. Kevin Durant added 24 points, 8 rebounds, and 7 assists, and Draymond Green notched a double-double with 12 points and 11 assists.
Game 1 Final. pic.twitter.com/9wEL4cWvwU
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 14, 2018
The Spurs will look to avoid digging themselves a 2-0 hole against the Warriors in Game 2 at 9:30 PM CST Monday night. The game will be broadcast on TNT.