So many heroes in a huge playoff win for the Golden State Warriors, you don’t know where to begin. Stephen Curry is the obvious choice, playing on his problematic ankle and having a huge second half. Andrew Bogut, making life a living hell for Tim Duncan when it mattered the most. Jarrett Jack who simply has no fear coming off the bench. And Harrison Barnes, who probably tried a little bit too much, but enjoyed one of his biggest games in his short NBA career.
The Warriors were down by 8 with five minutes left, but the San Antonio Spurs simply shut down offensively. Manu Ginobili couldn’t hit open and contested shots; Tony Parker and the injury that was troubling him became too much of a burden and the biggest thing was Andrew Bogut, getting Tim Duncan in a one on one situation again, and again, and again, came up with his hand on top in almost every positional battle between the two in the second half.
The end result? The Warriors, with excellent defense that’s not always expected of them, especially doing a very good job in stopping the pick n rolls and isolation situations for the Spurs, keeping them at 0.81 points per possession in the series, tie things up a 2-2 after an overtime gave, winning 97-87. It was hard to say if it was the crowd that eventually go to the Spurs, who didn’t show up to the final 10 minutes of the game, or simply the Warriors playing out of their minds. A combination of both, a chicken and egg theory.
Bogut’s second half was something to behold, especially on the defensive side, forcing Tim Duncan to take fade away jumpers while he was already crumbling under the intensity. Bogut missed most of the first half due to foul trouble, but played 22 in the second and overtime, keeping Duncan on only five points during the final 29 minutes of basketball in the game, and missing his final five field goal attempts, while finishing with 5 points and 18 rebounds himself.
The rest was Curry and the “gang”. Curry was terrible in the first half, but finished with 22 points, 17 of them coming in the second half and overtime. The Spurs couldn’t handle his usual third quarter eruptions, and refused to send Danny Green on him, keeping tabs on him in only four shots attempts, all of them in the fourth quarter, while Curry scored 19 of his points with Tony Parker guarding him. The Warriors did a great job in freeing Curry up throughout the second half, using pick & rolls to free him up and do his usual damage.
Jarrett Jack might be the MVP of the game. He scored 12 points as the Warriors went on a 25-7 run to close out the game, finishing with 24 points on 9-16 from the field, scoring his final six field goals off of pick n roll players, which the Spurs struggled in containing as the steam ran out of their system. They hit only 15.8% of their field goals in the final 9:40 of the game, including only 1-8 from beyond the arc.