The San Antonio Spurs return to the only place they managed to win at consistently this season: home.
Home and road splits usually make for baseball conversation. Fans will read Charlie Blackmon’s performance at Coors Field — a park that’s all for hitters — compared to his numbers at other ballparks. The San Antonio Spurs, however, created their own home and road splits for the 2017-18 season, just not as specific with player stats and more geared towards the team.
The Spurs were fantastic at the AT&T Center, securing a 33-8 record, with just two teams owning a better mark at their place: the Houston Rockets and Toronto Raptors, at 34-7 each. Even the Golden State Warriors were four games behind San Antonio at Oracle Arena.
The road was a different story, though. Despite revitalized play from LaMarcus Aldridge and a squad that seemed to outplay their Kawhi Leonard-less expectations in the first half, the Silver and Black finished 14-27 outside of the AT&T Center. This placed them in the bottom five of the Western Conference, and the top 10 of the NBA, due to how poorly the non-playoff teams performed in the Eastern Conference.
That leads to Game 3 of the Spurs first-round series. They have a 2-0 hole to climb out of, which the Warriors created with two victories at Oracle Arena. Game 1 was a blowout, and while Game 2 saw the Spurs take a lead into the second half, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson took over.
The next two games will be at home and the best chance Gregg Popovich’s squad has at staying competitive in this series. Basketball-Reference has a breakdown of how much better the Spurs’ home stats are compared to the away numbers (something we will break down in the offseason), including higher marks in field goal percentage, three-point percentage, assists, rebounds, steals and blocks. The kicker, though: a 5.5-point difference in scoring.
This team just plays better at home, whether it is due to the comfort, the crowd or familiarity, there is something in the water at 1 AT&T Center Parkway. Let’s see if this continues on Thursday, April 19 at 9:30 p.m. ET.