In the latest chapter in the war between the master (Gregg Popovich) and the apprentice (Steve Kerr), the master came out victorious, with the San Antonio Spurs defeating the Golden State Warriors in overtime, 117-113.
Here are some quick post-game observations:
- The Warriors offense had plenty of punch behind it, and the three most responsible were three of their usual suspects this season. Alec Burks topscored for the Warriors, finishing with 28 points on 9-of-20 shooting from the field. Glenn Robinson III was an efficient scoring machine, with his 25 points coming on a 10-of-17 shooting clip, with a 3-of-5 clip from beyond the arc. Damion Lee was equally efficient, with his 20 points coming on an 8-of-13 clip, 2-of-3 from beyond the arc. The team had plenty of activity in terms of sharing and moving the ball, as evidenced by their 31 assists on 44 made baskets.
- Although the offense was humming, the Warriors were lacking in several areas. They were severely out-rebounded by the Spurs, 53-44. More importantly, the Spurs’ 10 offensive rebounds led to a 24-8 advantage in terms of second-chance points. Additionally, the Warriors allowed the Spurs to cook from three-point range, where they shot 14-of-31 (45.2 percent). While the Warriors did well themselves from beyond the arc (12-of-27, 44.4 percent), it was ultimately their inability to prevent second-chance opportunities that was their undoing.
- Another area where the Spurs took command over the Warriors: bench scoring. The Spurs bench put up 43 points, as compared to the Warriors bench output of 23 points.
This was a tough loss, but the Warriors should be commended for their effort. They led for most of the game — leading by as much as 10 at one point — and gave a good account of themselves against a fringe playoff team (the Spurs are currently the 8th seed). They just couldn’t muster enough juice to close the Spurs out in the second half, after leading for most of the first half and holding a precarious two-point lead at halftime. There’s a lot of lessons to be had from the film of this game, and Steve Kerr is sure to point them out.
Coming up: The Warriors go to Minnesota on Thursday to face the Timberwolves.
(Author’s note: We apologize for the lack of a gamethread. It’s the New Year, and we’re also in the middle of a transition period in terms of new management. Also, we’re still trying to sort out our next venture, so please stay tuned for that one. Nothing final yet, but discussions are progressing. Thank you, and have a Happy New Year, Dub Nation!)