They would never say this out loud, but the Golden State Warriors chose Tuesday’s game against the San Antonio Spurs to opt for the rare “scheduled loss.” No one will ever admit those things, but with Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Andrew Wiggins, Otto Porter Jr., Andre Iguodala, and Nemanja Bjelica all sidelined, you could make a case that the Dubs were without seven of their 10 best players, and, well, you do the math on what should happen.
The nine healthy players that the Warriors did have apparently missed the memo. They had no plans for the latter word in the “scheduled loss” moniker.
You wouldn’t have been shocked if they got deflated and folded early when the Spurs jumped out to a 15-8 lead. You would have fully understood if they started to pack it in when San Antonio seemingly made every jump shot they took, building a 17-point third-quarter lead and carrying a shooting percentage over 60% into the final frame. I dare say you’d even be fine if they simply put out some good energy, took it on the chin, and stashed the L.
They did no such thing.
The Dubs trailed by 16 points with under 10 minutes remaining, and this is where I remind you that they were without Curry, Thompson, Green, Wiggins, Porter, Iguodala, and Bjelica. And on the road. And on the back end of a back-to-back.
And then they rattled off an 18-5 run, full of ice-in-their-veins shots from Damion Lee, Jonathan Kuminga, and Chris Chiozza, as well as momentum-shifting defensive plays from Gary Payton II, who sadly left the game with an injury.
All heart.— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) February 2, 2022
All hustle. pic.twitter.com/LaFXWDOzve
The deficit dwindled and dwindled, until a Lee three with 2:03 broke a tie and miraculously gave the Dubs the lead.
The Spurs retook it with four straight points, and Jordan Poole, brilliant all night, grabbed it back with a layup with 53.2 seconds remaining, only for the Spurs to immediately respond with a Dejounte Murray jumper.
And then came the biggest play of the game. Trying to squeeze in a two-for-one while trailing by a point, Poole missed a three. The ball looked bound for a sea of Spursian hands, at which point the Dubs would need to foul. But Lee flew into the scrum to knock the ball loose, and Moses Moody dove across the floor like a special teams Pro Bowler to somehow secure a loose ball and save it. It found Poole’s hands in the corner, and he drained a three to give the Dubs the lead.
A stop, a foul, and two Lee free throws later, and the Warriors had their most improbable victory of the season, besting the Spurs 124-120.
Poole finished with 31 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists, while crucially turning the ball over just once. Lee added 21 points, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, and 2 steals, while shooting 5-for-10 from deep and quieting the doofs in my Twitter mentions who keep trashing him. Moody, who had shot just 5-for-34 from distance prior to Monday’s win over the Houston Rockets, shot 6-for-10 from beyond the arc en route to a career-high 20 points and 7 rebounds. And his fellow rookie Kuminga, who was quiet until an explosive fourth quarter, added 19 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists.
The Dubs lone starter playing in this game, Kevon Looney, was once again old reliable, with a 12-point and 12-rebound double-double. And somehow, with the Splash Brothers resting, Golden State managed to shoot 43.5% from beyond the arc, which was necessary on a night when the Spurs shot 48.5% from distance.
The winning streak is now seven games, and none more memorable than what transpired in the Alamo City on Tuesday night.