Spurs vs. Warriors, Game 5 recap, reactions: Late rally comes up short
By Ryan Kostrzewa
The San Antonio Spurs ran out of gas against the defending champion Warriors, ending their postseason run after only five games.
With their backs against the wall in Wednesday’s Game 5 matchup between the San Antonio Spurs and the Warriors, a win would have sent the series back to San Antonio for a potential momentum-swinging Game 6. Instead, the Spurs simply couldn’t keep up. After keeping pace with the Warriors in the first quarter, the Warriors defense locked the Spurs down while Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant, as they have for much of the series, made the San Antonio pay on the other end of the floor.
The Spurs started out sluggish, allowing the Warriors to score the first 7 points of the game, but rebounded to tie the game at 15 points a piece. From there, the Spurs matched the Warriors shot for shot, and survived the first quarter with only a two-point deficit. In the second quarter, however, the Warriors broke away and went up 11 following an 11-2 run. The Spurs failed to cut the lead, and the Warriors maintained the 11-point lead at halftime.
In the third quarter, Golden State continued to dominate, but LaMarcus Aldridge kept the Spurs afloat, shooting 8-of-8 from the free-throw line and scoring 12 in the quarter, but the Warriors extended the lead to 14 as the Spurs struggled to score in transition and keep up on defense. In the final quarter, the Spurs got solid minutes out of Manu Ginobili, Kyle Anderson, and Aldridge and slowly chipped away at the Warriors lead.
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San Antonio ramped up their defensive intensity, and at one point outscored the Warriors 26-12 in the quarter the cut the lead to two at 93-91. Durant responded by sinking a contested jumper to extend the lead back to 4, and the Spurs missed four consecutive three-point shots in the next possession. San Antonio was forced to foul Draymond Green as the advanced the ball with the shot clock turned off, and Green sank both free throws to seal the victory at 97-91.
Aldridge led all scorers with 30 points and 12 rebounds on 8-18 shooting and a perfect 14-of-14 from the free-throw line. Patty Mills added 18 and Ginobili scored 10 in what could have been the final game of his career. Durant led the Warriors with 25 points in the victory, and Thompson added 24. Green notched a double-double with 17 points and 19 rebounds. The Spurs were held scoreless in transition, and gave up 21 fast-break points to the Warriors in the loss.
— San Antonio Spurs (@spurs) April 25, 2018
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The Warriors advance to play the New Orleans Pelicans in the Western Conference semi-finals, but the Spurs find themselves eliminated in the first-round for the first time since the 2015 postseason.