Last night, the two best teams in the NBA met for the third time this season, a 1-1 record between them with each team scoring a win at home.
The Warriors are pursuing history, and the Spurs are trying to end their chances, and score a win in Oracle Arena while they were at it. Despite rumors of possible rest, Gregg Poppovich played his regular starters, and the Warriors would have to earn this win. This one was set to be a battle.
Despite an off-kilter start by the Warriors, and Stephen Curry only scoring 8 in the half, the Warriors left the first half with a 12 point lead. The Warriors started off shooting quick shots, as Draymond Green picked up his second foul and received a technical. The Warriors seemed out of control. With Harrison Barnes having to guard Lamarcus Aldridge, the Warriors seemed vulnerable.
The Warriors’ defensive effort kept them ahead in the half. Barnes did a solid job guarding Aldridge and even scored 21 points on 13 shots. Stephen Curry’s first half was quiet, but he was making necessary adjustments to score against the Spurs, driving to the middle.
The Warriors had one gear in the second half, full gear. Stephen Curry’s second half wasn’t anywhere near quiet. He finished with 29 points and 9 assists. The Spurs eventually hit a scoring stride against Golden State’s second string. The game wasn’t as close as the score as the Warriors flat outplayed the Spurs.
Kawhi Leonard finished with 23 points. Lamarcus Aldridge left the game in the second quarter with a dislocated pinky, but they taped the pinky to his ring finger and he went back in as he finished with 11 points. Curry led all scorers. Barnes’ 21 points was good enough to be the second highest scorer on the Warriors.
The Spurs, despite the loss, remain the biggest threat for the chase of 73 as the Warriors face the Grizzlies twice, and the Spurs in San Antonio for their final three games. The Spurs must find an answer to the Warriors defense to stay undefeated at home. The Spurs no doubt hope to win and make the series 2-2 on the season. The Warriors also without a doubt hope to win and pursue 73 wins.