On a night when the NBA took a backseat to the NCAA, a San Antonio Spurs team — minus Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili — defeated an Andre Iguodala-less Golden State Warriors team 99-90.
For the Spurs, it was the kind of win that exemplifies what has made them so good for the Duncan/Greg Popovich era. Even when two of their best players rest, they are still able to compete and defeat one of the better teams in their conference.
For the young Warriors, Saturday night was a lesson in consistency and that there never is a good excuse for losing a game. With Duncan and Ginobili out, the Spurs had five guys score 15 or more points. Marco Belinelli had 15 points, Kawhi Leonaard had 16 points and gathered seven rebounds. Tiago Splitter had 17 points and 14 rebounds. Danny Green scored 18 points and collected six boards, and Tony Parker, the leader of them all, had a game high 20 points on fifty percent shooting.
Thanks to a good gameplan and good execution, the Spurs limited the Warriors to shooting just 3-of-15 from three and forced 18 turnovers. For a Warriors team that was only missing Iguodala, there was no excuse for such a performance. Harrison Barnes looked poised to emerge as one of the best young small forwards but after another dreadful performance looks like more Marvin Williams 2.0.
If before the game, someone told you the Spurs defeated the Warriors thanks to 17 points and 14 rebounds from their center and held the Warriors frontcourt to a combined 15 points, you would have thought Tim Duncan had a Tim Duncan 2004-esque game. But no: Tiago Spillter did his best Tim Duncan impression and thoroughly outplayed the Warriors’ big men on both ends of the floor.
The Warriors, 13-5 since the All-Star break, have played better basketball of late, but are still struggling to play at an elite level every night. In what was a winnable game, the Dubs came out flat getting outscored 32-22 in the first quarter and never mustered enough offense to overcome their early hole.
The Warriors’ bench was mediocre, but it was their starting lineup that failed them. Harrison Barnes failed them, so did Lee. For a Warriors team that proved last postseason that they could compete with the Spurs, you might as well deem their 99-90 loss to the Spurs’ B-team as a bad loss.
Tags: Golden State Warriors