The Golden State Warriors took a 3-0 series lead over the San Antonio Spurs in Saturday night’s 120-108 road win. San Antonio, as Jeff Van Gundy pointed out in tonight’s broadcast, used to be a “house of horrors” for the Warriors, but this season seems to be changing that trend.
To be fair, though, the Spurs are still without Tony Parker and, more importantly, Kawhi Leonard. Tonight saw the departure of David Lee as well, as he landed badly and had to be assisted to the locker room in a wheelchair.
I feel for the Spurs and their fans, as well as fans of the game. The Warriors had not faced the Spurs in the prior two playoff runs, with many people feeling that the Spurs would have challenged them had they met. Now we finally get that match-up, but injuries have made a big difference.
JaVale McGee, starting for the injured Zaza Pachulia, led the team in scoring in the first half, with 16 points, seven of which were a string of free throws, a dunk and a three-point play to start the game. He scored 11 in the first quarter, followed by a great block against Jonathon Simmons on the other end. Sure, there were some mishaps along the way, but that’s not important. What’s important is that McGee has quickly become one of the funnest players to watch and I, personally, appreciate that very much.
Kevin Durant put up 33 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block and single-handedly dominated the third quarter. Durant went on a solo 16-point run for the Warriors late in the quarter, including a four-point play.
Stephen Curry had 21 points and six steals, with three 3-point shots. The first of which sent him past Rick Barry for most playoff points in franchise history:
Draymond Green had 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists and Klay Thompson scored 17 points and got six rebounds to round out the starting rotation.
Off the bench, it was a quiet night for many but David West put up six points, four rebounds and five assists - and made a three. Meanwhile Ian Clark put up 7 points including this layup featuring a quarterback pass from West with a second left in the first quarter:
Meanwhile, in bench reaction news:
Draymond makes Bertans fall and DISRESPECTFUL bench reaction pic.twitter.com/NqkKzoPEde— Rob Perez (@World_Wide_Wob) May 21, 2017
I’ll be honest; that last one was mostly for me.
San Antonio had their best shot at winning this game since Leonard left Game 1, with the Warriors playing sloppily in the first half. Ball movement was careless, leading to numerous turnovers, Curry and Green got into foul trouble early, and there were several defensive breakdowns.
It was a 12-0 run led by Durant late in the second quarter that gave the Warriors room to breathe, as they went to halftime up by nine. At this point, Curry and Green each had three fouls and it was not looking great for the second half.
The third quarter was an offensive explosion, with the Spurs scoring 33 and still getting outscored by three. As mentioned above, this quarter featured Durant’s 16 point run on his way to 19 overall.
With the Warriors up by 12 in the fourth quarter, the Spurs managed to get within single digits briefly. Unfortunately, they gave up an unanswered 10 points immediately following that, which would ultimately seal their fate. Both teams scored 20 points and the lead coming into the quarter was the same when it ended, with the Warriors winning by 12.