The San Antonio Spurs dropped Game 3 of the series to the Golden State Warriors and now sit at a 3-0 deficit.
The opening round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs came to San Antonio on Thursday night. Carrying a healthy 2-0 series lead the Golden State Warriors looked to solidify their position with a victory over the San Antonio Spurs in the AT&T Center.
Thursday’s game came following the news of the passing of Erin Popovich, wife of Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich, early Wednesday. In Pop’s absence, assistant coach Ettore Messina would take the helm and coach the team.
San Antonio has been a much different team at home than they have been on the road. Evidence of that could be seen throughout the season as the Spurs would go 33-8 at home, compared to 14-27 when they played away from the AT&T Center. Unfortunately, the stifling defense of the Warriors was too much and San Antonio would lose again. The Warriors would win 110-97 and take a commanding 3-0 series lead over the Spurs.
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Right after tip-off, it looked like the game was going to be close and hard fought. San Antonio would end the first quarter down three and would go into halftime down six but the game felt in reach. Neither team had much success shooting from deep in the first half and both struggled to put up points. San Antonio was making the Warriors work for every shot. While their defense kept the game within reach, their offense, or lack thereof, would keep San Antonio from ever securing the lead.
San Antonio was bone-dry from three-point range in the first half and would end the game going 7-33 from beyond the arc. The Spurs were not a heavy three-point offense this season, they were 24th in the league in three-point attempts this season, but if there were ever a time for them to suddenly catch fire from deep this would have been it.
Golden State would turn it on in the third quarter. As they have all series, the Warriors looked for two of the best shooters in NBA history, Klay Thompson, and Kevin Durant, to carry them offensively. It was an unsurprisingly successful game plan. The Warriors would eventually pull away for to a 15 point lead but San Antonio would gradually whittle that down to eight midway through the fourth quarter. That single digit lead was just enough to inspire fans to believe that they could mount a comeback. That dream was quickly dashed and the lead was back up to 15 with two minutes left.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 20, 2018
This was always going to be a series that the Spurs were going to struggle to win. They will have one more chance to avoid the sweep on Sunday.