When you get to this point in the playoffs, only the best teams remain. That’s certainly the case in the West and the Warriors are knee deep in the Western Conference Finals. The Warriors and the Spurs faced off on Sunday and Tuesday at Oracle. The Warriors now lead the series 2-0. Perhaps it has something to do with these lucky bracelets we recently got from Fangirl by Megan? : )
San Antonio has a rich basketball history. It’s the 20th consecutive season the Spurs have made the playoffs, which speaks to how great this franchise is and how consistent head coach Gregg Popovich leads this team.
The Warriors had the NBA’s top offense in the regular season, but the Spurs had the best defense. The Spurs have given the Warriors problems for years and when they faced off during the regular season, San Antonio was one of only two teams in the NBA to beat the Warriors twice this season.
It was a strange game for the Warriors on Sunday. The first half was terrible on both sides of the ball. Draymond Green is usually a great ball handler, but he had a lot of weird fumbles, turnovers and throwaways. Klay Thompson could not hit his shot, scoring only six points the entire game and struggling to take care of the ball. The ball seemed a little heavy in Thompson’s hand, but on Tuesday he seemed to find his shot.
Kawhi Leonard is one of the premiere two-way players in the game and during the regular season he averaged a career-best 25.5 points per game. On Sunday, Leonard played lights out and the small forward carried the load for the Spurs. In the third quarter, in the midst of a contested jump shot with Zaza Pachulia — he came down on Pachulia’s foot and injured what appeared to be an already aggravated left ankle.
With Leonard out and a halftime talk from Steve Kerr, the Warriors battled to recover from a 25 point deficit. Curry had a spectacular third quarter and Durant an unbelievable fourth quarter. The two combined for 74 points and were able to steal game one.
With Kawhi out game two, LaMarcus Aldridge failed to step up. However, the second-year swingman Jonathon Simmons stepped in a big way, but the Spurs ultimately fell short.
- Game 3 – Saturday, May 20, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. (ESPN)
- Game 4 – Monday, May 22, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. (ESPN)
- Game 5* – Wednesday, May 24, 2017 at 6:00 p.m. (ESPN)
- Draymond Green posted on flickr by Ketih Allison
- Patty Mills on Wikipedia by Keith Allison
- Gregg Popovich on Wikimedia by Zereshk posted
- Pau Gasol on Wikimedia by Augustas Didžgalvis
- Kawhi Leonard (Spurs) – on Wikipedia by Jose Garcia
- Klay Thompson image on flickr by Keith Allison
- Steve Kerr photo: Ketih Allison – posted to Flickr as Steve Kerr
- Steph Curry on flickr by Ketih Allison
- Zaza Pachulia on Flickr by Keith Allison