May 14, 2017, 5:54 pm
Everything was going so well for the Spurs. They were up 20+ points, on the road, to the perennial Championship favourites and at certain points it seemed like Pop even wanted to crack a smile. Then, in a split second, everything changed. The Warriors went on an 18-0 run and despite the best efforts of an undermanned Spurs team to protect the lead it seemed like it was only a matter of time until they were caught. With The Chemical Brothers playing in the background here’s your Mother’s Day edition of the Daily Dish.
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WARRIORS 113, SPURS 111 (GAME 1 WCF)
Stephen Curry was absolutely cooking in this one. Even when the Warriors were down 20+ points early in the third quarter he kept shooting and shooting and singlehandedly kept the Warriors afloat. Curry finished the afternoon with a game-high 40 points on 14-of-26 from the field. He connected on seven triples and added seven rebounds, three assists and three steals in the come from behind win.
While Curry was hot throughout the game, Kevin Durant caught fire late and posted a strong 34 points on 11-of-21 from the field. Once Leonard was ruled out for the game Durant created a matchup problem for the Spurs. Manu Ginobili, Danny Green and Jonathon Simmons tried their best but could not get shut him down. Durant added five rebounds, four assists, four blocks, two triples and one steal in 39 minutes of action.
Draymond Green flirted with a triple-double posting nine points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two steals. Green played some solid defense in the second half when the Warriors made their run and had a huge bucket down the stretch do give the Dubs the lead. If Leonard is forced to miss game two expect Green to cover LaMarcus Aldridge all night long.
Kawhi Leonard was having a fantastic game prior to stepping on Zaza Pachulia’s foot and leaving for good mid-way through the third quarter. Earlier in the game he seemed to have aggravated his left ankle sprain when he stepped on teammate David Lee’s foot on the bench. But after a short stint on the bench he returned. Unfortunately for the Spurs the second aggravation of his left ankle was not as minor. Leonard finished the afternoon with 26 points, eight rebounds, three assists, one steal and one triple. He’ll have an MRI later tonight and we should have an update on his ankle by tomorrow morning. Fingers crossed for Spurs fans.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored a team-high 28 points on 11-of-24 from the field but was pretty ineffective once Leonard exited. Aldridge did battle, especially late in the game when the Spurs re-took the lead momentarily. Aldridge had a tough time matching up against Draymond Green and if Leonard misses Game 2 expect Aldridge to see a lot more of Green especially down in the post.
Manu Ginobili was great off the bench scoring 17 points on 7-of-10 from the field. Ginobili has turned back the clock recently and it has been a pleasant sight for all basketball fans alike. Ginobili added one rebound, one assist, one triple and three steals in the loss.
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Klay Thompson shot 2-of-11 from the field and finished the game with only six points. Despite the poor shooting Thompson did make some key plays down the stretch to help the Warriors prevail. Thompson added three rebounds, two assists, three steals, two blocks and one triple in 39 minutes of action. If Thompson does end up finding his shot in this series, it could be a short one for the Spurs.
Pau Gasol was invisible in 16 minutes of action. He was limited by foul trouble and ended the game with five points, two rebounds, one assist, one steal and one block. He will need to be better in Game 2 for the Spurs to have any shot, especially with the uncertainty surrounding Kawhi Leonard’s status.
Andre Iguodala was limited to 10 minutes in this one and it was revealed after the game that he would receive an MRI on his left knee was could miss Game 2. It would be a big blow for the Warriors’ bench if Iggy were to miss any time.
This game seemed eerily similar to the first game of the season when the Spurs rocked the Warriors 129-100. Unfortunately, when Kawhi Leonard left this game mid-way through the third quarter everyone could see the momentum shift. It was only a matter of time until the Warriors took control and despite a very valiant effort by the Spurs, the Warriors walked away with the win. If Kawhi Leonard is forced to miss any time in this series, this one could be done in four games. Coach Popovich is a mastermind, so we’ll see what his game plan looks when Game 2 tips off on Tuesday night.
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THAT DOES IT FOR ANOTHER TASTY DISH. MAKE SURE TO KEEP IT LOCKED ON HOOP-BALL.COM AND FOLLOW US (@HOOPBALLTWEETS) FOR ALL THE LATEST NBA NEWS. THE CAVS CONTINUE TO RELAX AS THEY AWAIT THE WINNER OF GAME 7 OF THE ECF. MONDAY NIGHT SHOULD BE A FUN ONE AS JOHN WALL AND THE WIZARDS LOOK TO UPSET THE CELTICS ON THEIR OWN HOME COURT. LET’S HOPE THAT THIS ONE IS MORE LIKE GAME 2 OR 6 OF THIS SERIES AND NOT LIKE GAMES 3,4 OR 5. CHECK YOU NEXT WEEK.