Golden State Warriors: 3 Reasons Why the San Antonio Spurs Beat Them


The Golden State Warriors’ series with the San Antonio Spurs was a lot closer than the 4-2 end score suggests, especially considering two of the games went to overtime and one of those games went to double-overtime, and the several of the games were one to two possession games as the clock winded down.

So how did the Spurs ultimately prevail?

May 6, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) drives to the basket as Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) defends during the first half in game one of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the AT

They Didn’t Close Out Games

This really only applies to the Game 1 loss in this series, but it revealed also that while youth gave the Warriors, it also came with inexperience, not just with the players, but with sophomore coach Mark Jackson as well.

Tony Parker caught fire in the fourth quarter, and was constantly attacking the paint. Meanwhile, the Warriors’ best interior defender, Andrew Bogut, was sitting on the bench. Golden State also managed to turn over the ball four times in the fourth quarter, which gave the Spurs four easy points. They managed to tie the game up in the fourth quarter thanks to a 26-point binge.

In a extremely close series like this one, preventable losses are compounded exponentially. It is impossible to speculate on what would have happened if the Warriors closed out Game 1, but there are more positive scenarios with the Warriors taking a game off the Spurs in Game 1 than losing as they did.

May 14, 2013; San Antonio, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) drives against San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker (9) during the second half in game five of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at the AT

Offensive Efficiency

The Splash Brothers, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, who had their best performances in Games 1 and 2, respectively, shot 33.9 percent and 32.5 percent, respectively, in their last three losses.Their offensive troubles didn’t stop them from shooting however. Between the two of them, they made 16 of their 96 attempts.

The Spurs’ defense must be credited, as Danny Green and Kawhi Leonard proved themselves as great perimeter defenders, but one must also wonder why they kept taking shots when the Spurs best defenders were on them, when someone like Harrison Barnes had a mismatch against Tony Parker.

May 16, 2013; Oakland, CA, USA; San Antonio Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard (2) dunks the ball over Golden State Warriors power forward Carl Landry (7) during the third quarter in game six of the second round of the 2013 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. The Spurs defeated the Warriors 94-82. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Defensive Potency

After the Game 1 loss, in each of the Warriors’ losses, the Spurs made either more or the same amount of shots on less attempts. In Games 3, 5 and 6, the Spurs shoot an average of 7.6 percent better from the field, and in Game 5 specifically, the Spurs shot a better three-point percentage, 47.6 percent on 21 attempts, than the Warriors shot from the field.

The Spurs seemingly had no pressure on the perimeter, as they averaged 38 percent on 60 attempts from beyond the arc in their last three victories compared to the Warriors 29.4 percent on 51 attempts.