The Golden State Warriors exercised their San Antonio demons in a big way. With the game tied at 50-50 at half time, the Dubs outscored the Spurs 36-20 in the third quarter and went on to an 114-91 win. It’s just the fourth victory in San Antonio for the Warriors in their last 45 games.
The defense was stellar once again as the Dubs held the Spurs to just 37.2 percent shooting from the field, the second-consecutive time they held San Antonio below 40 percent shooting.
Stephen Curry led the third quarter charge, scoring 16 of his 32 points during the period. Draymond Green finished with 11 assists, his fourth-straight game with double-digit dimes.
“Steph just took over, he had an interesting stat line,” head coach Steve Kerr said. “He had two assists, and I’m guessing he accounted for 50, 60 points … the way he impacts the game is just so dramatic, whether he has the ball or not … I thought Steph was tremendous, and everyone else brought the energy.”
Golden State used its much-improved defense to hold San Antonio to just seven-of-23 shooting in the third, which enabled the Warriors to go on the extended run.
It was a flawless 12 minutes for the Dubs, who have struggled with consistency throughout the season. At the beginning of the season, the Warriors couldn’t stop teams from piling up points, but they have had the opposite issue as of late.
Golden State’s offense and defense finally synced up during the third. The Warriors did a great job of moving the ball during the period and had the Spurs reeling on defense. Curry and his teammates targeted San Antonio big man Jakob Poeltl to start the quarter, which resulted in several open looks for the Dubs.
“I think we went into halftime feeling like we probably should have been up 10 points,” Kerr said. “Just a couple mistakes here and there keeping us from extending the lead. I thought we really got it going in the third energy wise on both ends of the floor.”
The two teams played a tightly-contested affair on Monday that saw the Warriors cost themselves the game with some bad decisions. It was neck-and-neck through the opening half with both squads responding to each other’s runs.
Damion Lee had a tremendous first half off the bench, scoring 11 points over the opening 24 minutes. The bench responded with a much better effort overall than they did in Monday’s loss, combining for 39 points in the victory in the second of a back-to-back against the Spurs. Eric Paschall was the high-scorer from the second unit, finishing with 15 points.
Another reason Golden State was able to get the rare-win in San Antonio was the turnovers. The Dubs only turned the ball over nine times against the Spurs on Tuesday, 11 fewer than they did in Monday’s loss.
We have seen how good the Warriors can be when they’re getting solid play on both ends of the floor. The Dubs have beaten some of the best teams in the league when they use quick rotations on defense and don’t force things on the offensive end.
After a slow start to the season, Golden State has climbed into the top-10 in defensive rating and top-five in opponents’ field goal percentage. We didn’t see the team stare down Curry on the offensive end in this one.
When the Spurs denied Steph, the Warriors did an excellent job of passing-and-cutting, especially during the third quarter run, which was the difference in the game.
Without a healthy center on the roster, the Dubs went 2-2 on their four-game Texas road trip.
We are officially 25 games into the season, and the Dubs are sitting at 13-12. Golden State needs to string together some wins if it wants to start climbing up the Western Conference standings.
The Warriors return home for a four-game homestand that begins Thursday against the Orlando Magic. The Dubs have played the fifth-toughest schedule so far and will get some easier matchups in the coming weeks.
Golden State will play nine-consecutive games against Eastern Conference teams, and only three of those matchups will come against squads who are currently in the top-six in the conference. The Dubs should get some help as well with rookie James Wiseman expected to return during the homestand, while Kevon Looney has a chance at playing as well.
What will the Warriors’ record be over their nine games?