Golden State Warriors Unable To Take Series Lead In Game 5


May 14, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dunks over Golden State Warriors small forward Harrison Barnes (40) in the third quarter in game five of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the AT

The San Antonio Spurs blew out the Golden State Warriors 109-91 to take a 3-2 series lead as it goes back to the Oracle Arena. Tony Parker and Harrison Barnes tied for the most points, each scoring 25.

The Warriors didn’t shoot especially poorly, going 47.5 percent from the field and 37.5 percent from beyond the arc. Their free throw shooting was low, shooting just 65.2 percent, making only 15 of their 23 attempts.

Why the Warriors Lost:

The Warriors suffered on both the offensive and defensive ends of the spectrum in Game 5. Only three Warriors scored in the double-digits–Barnes, Carl Landry and Jarrett Jack. Where were the Splash Brothers? Stephen Curry scored nine points, going 4-of-14 from the field and making only one of his seven three-point attempts. Klay Thompson, meanwhile, scored four points on 2-of-8 shooting from the field. In a cumulative 71 minutes of playtime, they combined to score just 13 points.

Even with Curry and Thompson’s subpar performance, the Warriors still managed to score 91 points with a relatively good playoff field goal and three-point percentage. So where was the breakdown?

Perimeter defense for the Warriors was nearly nonexistent, as the Spurs shot nearly 10 percent better three point percent than the Dubs. San Antonio shot a better three-point percent, 47.6 percent than the Warriors percentage from the field, 47.3 percent. The Spurs went 10-of-21 from downtown, and they also shot around four percent better from the field than the Warriors, making 40 of their 77 attempts.

Five members of the Spurs scored in the double-digits, and three of the five starters had scored more than 15 points. Parker, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard and Tim Duncan combined for 72 points, which is more points than the entire Warriors squad combined sans Barnes.

To give an even more broad sense of the Warriors’ poor play on both sides of the court we can look to the plus-minus rating (a statistic that measures a player’s impact on the difference between their team’s total scoring versus their opponents).

The Warriors only had two players who had positive plus-minuses–Draymond Green and Richard Jefferson. All but four of the Spurs players had positive plus-minuses, with five of those players having positive ratings in double-digits.

Key Stretch:

The Warriors managed to cut their double-digit deficit to just eight points in the middle of the fourth, bringing the score to 90-82, but two three-pointers from Kawhi Leonard and Manu Ginobli, and a layup and a jumper from Parker notched that score to 102-84. The 10-0 run in two minutes time was the final nail in the Warriors’ coffin.

Notable Performances:

1) Harrison Barnes

The 6’8’’ rookie lead his team in scoring again, scoring 25 points on 55.5 percent shooting field, and making three of his four attempts from downtown. He also managed to rack up seven boards and one block. On a night where Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were no-shows, Barnes put up an extremely valiant effort.

2) Kawhi Leonard

The 21-year-old swingman was the second-highest scorer on his team, as well as the second-highest rebounder. Leonard shot an impressive 87.5 percent from the field, albeit only on eight attempts. He also made three of this four three-point attempts, and grabbed seven rebounds and two steals. Leonard continues to prove himself in this series.

MVP – Tony Parker:

It’s unsurprising that Tony Parker wins the MVP for Game 5. The veteran point guard scored 25 points on 56.3 percent shooting from the field, and he put up a neat double-double with ten dimes. Seven of his points came in the fourth quarter, with four of those coming at a crucial to end a potentially game-threatening run by the Warriors.

The 30-year-old point guard continues to give the Warriors headaches, as he was able to penetrate the paint and make layup after layup. If the Warriors hope to take Game 6, they need to contain Tony Parker.