Warriors Beat Spurs

It’s been 22 years since the Golden State Warriors won a second round playoff game on the road. It’s been 16 years since they last won in San Antonio against the Spurs. But these 2013 Warriors are different. Young, but they don’t play as such, especially not Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, who were simply too much to handle for the favorites to win the Western Conference.

Tony Parker was aggressive. Tim Duncan did a good job in the paint most of the time. But with Klay Thompson shooting a career high 34 points, including hitting 8 three pointers, six of them during the first half, and Stephen Curry taking over in the second half while his backcourt partner was marked much better, finishing with 22 points. The Spurs didn’t make the most of the chances they created for themselves in the fourth quarter, and the Warriors came out with a 100-91 win.

All four postseason series are tied at 1-1, and the Warriors are heading back to Oakland quite confident of being the better time, like Mark Jackson is preaching all along. They kept beating Spurs players on the dribble, and gotten over the Spurs using hack-a-Bogut, which didn’t last very long. It was about making the plays at the right time, and getting the stops at the right time. The Spurs missed out when they created open shots, and tried to make up for that with tough shots in the paint. Carl Landry, Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green did a great job in the paint whenever Parker or Ginobili tried to turn the tide.

The Spurs have a problem. Without a healthy Tiago Splitter, their defense doesn’t have the same ability it did during the regular season to make Curry afraid to blow past defenders and try to make the most in the paint. Klay Thompson is left open again and again because the Spurs’ most effective defender on Curry, Kawhi Leonard, creates a mismatch which allows the Warriors to have a post presence on Tony Parker.

Mark Jackson kept talking about rebounds, and got it from his players, although the numbers (50-48 in favor of the Warriors) don’t suggest it. It was when they came, and not the amount  Klay Thompson with 14; Carl Landry with 4 offensive boards. Gregg Popovich kept talking about intensity, but the Spurs lost that battle too. Heading into the Bay Area this weekend, he needs to hope it won’t happen again.