clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Dominant Warriors win Game 2 over a prideful Spurs team

Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson crank up the firepower to finish an energized Spurs team.

NBA: Playoffs-San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

Last night, as I enjoyed the Golden State Warriors’ thrilling 116-101 knockout of the San Antonio Spurs, I had to marvel at the professional rivalry between these two clubs.

The Warriors attempted to break San Antonio’s spirit from the get-go, yet the Spurs tenaciously weathered the early storm. When the Spurs fired back some painful salvos of their own, I knew we had game on our hands.

This was one of the more fascinating contests in the Warriors recent run of domination. Let’s take a look at it.

First Quarter: The Warriors came in looking for a knockout

The Warriors, fired up by a bloodthirsty Roaracle crowd, attempted to bodybag the Spurs from the get go in Game 2. The champions came out pushing the pace, launching difficult shots in Spurs defenders faces with no fear.

The Good

  • Kevin Durant was hyper-aggressive early, targeting Danny Green like a practice dummy for a mid-range jump shooting tutorial.
  • Andre Iguodala drilled 3 three-pointers in the opening quarter, and orchestrated the Warriors frenetic pace to near Steph Curry-like levels.

They were testing the mettle of San Antonio’s creaky dynasty. Of course, the veteran Spurs coldly used the Warriors high-energy against them.

The Bad

  • A visibly amped Draymond Green picked up two quick fouls and missed the majority of the opening period.
  • The champs threw away a ghastly seven turnovers, while the Spurs had one.
  • Iguodala missed a vicious attempt to baptize Lamarcus Aldridge on a monster dunk attempt. If he had dunked that, the entire arena would have blacked out. Unfortunately, the miss led to an easy Rudy Gay bucket on the other end.

When all the dust had settled after one period, San Antonio finished with a 14-6 run, deftly parrying the Warriors wild haymakers. The Spurs even won the first quarter, 25-23.

Second Quarter: The Spurs don’t get rattled

A defensive chess match ensued in the second quarter, as both teams were forced to run their offensive possessions down to their last options. Both teams were on a string defensively, and were sharp with passing and offensive execution. It was like dream from Bill Walton! Such beautiful hooping.

Then, KD became perhaps a tad too bloodthirsty. Emphasis on the thirsty. While the Spurs determinedly ran their offense, with a steady diet of Aldridge (17 points on 6-of-10 shooting from the field after two quarters), Durant pressed.

The Slim Reaper finished the half 6-of-13 with 17 points and only 1 turnover on a flurry of beautiful shots. There were also a few dead possessions were the other Warriors stared as Durant tried to work. The precise ball movement paused as Durant hunted for isolation death blows, with mixed results.

I can’t be mad at KD for looking to carry the load early on, but it was clear that the Warriors motion offense stagnated as halftime approached. The Spurs have made a dynasty out of defeating isolation scorers, so there was slight reason for Dub Nation to be concerned.

Third Quarter: The Dubs crank the pressure up

A series of runs ensued, and they were fueled by great defense from either team. The Warriors started the quarter on a 19-5 run...

....and the resilient Spurs swung back with a 9-0 run of their own. Rudy Gay, in particular, kept muscling his way to offensive rebounds and putbacks.

The momentum never quite went back San Antonio’s way though, as the Warriors supreme shotmakers began flexing their true power on their old foe.

Durant and Thompson became so bloodthirsty, they activated vampire mode. Durant had 11 points in the quarter, pulling up from wherever-the-hell he damn well pleased to bury insane shots.

Thompson had 8 points in the period, firing tough catch-and-shoot jumpers. It wasn’t like the Spurs weren’t giving their all defensively. They were just getting punished by historically dominant scorers who were both locked into the zone at the same time. That, coupled with the champions stingy defense, began taking the air out of San Antonio.

Warriors 80, Spurs 75 after three periods.

Fourth Quarter: Looks like another Dub TKO

Thompson slammed the door on the Spurs fingers in macabre fashion with disrespectful jumpers. The man went absolutely unconscious, destroying ever Spur defender in his path.

The Warriors ripped apart the Spurs in the second half, 69-48. What had at one point been a hotly contested game, turned into garbage time with a couple minutes left. Kevin Durant finished with 32 points, 6 rebounds, and 6 assists, while Klay Thompson had 31 points on 5 made threes.

Defensively, the Dubs aggression rattled the Spurs out of their offensive comfort zone. San Antonio finished shooting 41% from the field, and a hideous 4-of-28 from downtown (14%). Now, we knew coming into this series that without Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs have difficulty putting the ball into the basket. Aldridge finished with 34 points, but was swarmed down the stretch and turned into a non-factor.

Clearly, moving Iguodala to the starting lineup has created a defensive force-field that is torturing Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. When the Warriors decide to take away Aldridge with trapping defense, there is no one on the Spurs that can make the champs pay.

Moving On

Wait, I forgot to mention: Draymond Green was saddled with a mighty suspect flagrant foul call.

We don’t want a repeat of the 2016 Finals shenanigans, Mr. Adam Silver. I, along with Draymond, hope that gets rescinded.

Alright, we protected home court, baby! Halfway to that sweep that I predicted last week. Let’s see if the Warriors 1-2 combo of ridiculous shot-making and vicious defense travel to San Antonio for Game 3.

Poll

Who was your Warrior Wonder for gm 2 vs the Spurs?

This poll is closed

  • 1%
    JaVale McGee
    (13 votes)
  • 6%
    Kevin Durant
    (45 votes)
  • 73%
    Klay Thompson
    (492 votes)
  • 15%
    Andre Iguodala
    (106 votes)
  • 1%
    David West
    (12 votes)
  • 0%
    Draymond Green
    (1 vote)
669 votes total Vote Now

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Golden State of Mind Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Golden State Warriors news from Golden State of Mind