Forgive the short rehash, as the Warriors game went late into the night over on the East Coast.
After losing Game 2 against the Warriors, the Spurs had lost the crucial home advantage that reigned in the regular season, as each team won both of their games on their home floor. The Warriors dictated the pace and flow of the majority of Games 1 and 2, except for the last four minutes of the 4th quarter and the 2nd overtime in Game 1. By losing Game 2, the Warriors gained a significant advantage in having three out of the next five games at the Oracle Arena, a venue so loud it's dubbed 'Roaracle'. The media, from ESPN, to PtR, and even bloggers like The Basketball Jones, thought that the series shifted dramatically because the Warriors played extremely well in San Antonio. Fans on PtR were a little worried, and for good reason. The Warriors' backcourt was on fire in the two games in San Antonio and seemed unstoppable, since the Warriors feed so well off of their crowd. The Spurs decided to start their most popular lineup in Parker, Green, Leonard, Splitter and Duncan, not adapting to play the small-ball that Golden State has been preferring since David Lee went down. They regularly put smaller forwards in that lineup, such as Carl Landry, Draymond Green or Harrison Barnes. Tim Duncan or Tiago Splitter can benefit from that and help dictate the pace. After focusing on the shortcomings of the Spurs defense and offense, Spurs followers were holding their breath after San Antonio split their home games and headed to one of the most raucous arenas in the league.
Pop's Post-Game Quote of the Night
"We had 4, 5, or 6 guys who played pretty darn well."
Check out his press pass for more information.
The Essential Hash
Check out Cameron Archer's recap if you haven't already.
Pop's quote epitomizes this game. The Spurs simply had more players have better games than the Warriors. Tony Parker, Tim Duncan and Kawhi Leonard had stellar games and were the difference makers for the Spurs against a Warriors team that cut double digit leads in what seemed like mere seconds. The Spurs had ended the 3rd quarter up 10, but the Warriors went on a 9-0 run and cut it down to 1. The Spurs were able to hit timely shots and didn't let the Warriors take the lead at all in the 4th. In fact, the Warriors hadn't led since late in the 1st quarter, before the Spurs closed the first frame on a 16-2 run. The Spurs needed to jump on the Warriors early and force them to become purely a jump shooting team, instead of one that mixes in drives to the hoop and long three-pointers off the bounce. Jump shooting teams can generate an enormous lead in what seems like a blink of an eye, but struggle to play catch up if they're down a sizable margin. After the first quarter, which they lost by 9, the lead more or less held intact, as the rest of the three quarters were separated by only one point.
Tony had a great first half, hitting 25 points, the fourth most in a half this postseason. Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant are the only others who have reached that point level so far in these playoffs.
Tony cooled off in the second half, only scoring 7 points, but it was enough to keep the Warriors at bay. He drove to the hoop and passed the ball around. He did have some bad turnovers; regardless, his great first half propelled him to an overall good game. Tim Duncan had 23 and 10, a classic Duncan line if there ever was one. Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard, Tiago Splitter and Boris Diaw did well enough to supplement scoring around Parker and Duncan. Golden State made a few runs here and there in the second half, but never led. A strong game from the team as a whole.
Tony had a great line and a very impressive first half - 25 points on 11/14 shooting. He slowed down in the second, making only 2 more shots on 9 attempts, but hit another three in that half. The Warriors were daring him to shoot and he took advantage.
Jack played iso-ball for crucial moments in the game late in the second half and especially the fourth quarter. Just as the Warriors were making a comeback, he would stop the ball, try to run a play after milking the clock into the final seconds, and either throw up a bad shot or pass, resulting in a turnover. In the second half, he made 1/3 shots and had a turnover. Not much else from the important bench guard.
By the Numbers
- -7 - Rebounding differential for the Spurs. They've lost the rebounding battle each game. Game 1 by 10, Game 2 by 2 and now 7 for Game 3, for an average of 6.3 fewer a game. That's allowing the Warriors a lot more attempts at their basket, and with their dynamic offense, they can be dangerous.
- -8 - Offensive rebounding differential. The Warriors grabbed twice the offensive rebounds than the Spurs, 16 to 8, helping them getting 10 more shot attempts at the basket than the Spurs.
- 17% - Ginobili's shooting from deep against the Warriors so far. He's made 4 shots out of 23 attempts in this series.
- 10% - Stephen Curry's shooting percentage when guarded by Danny Green this series. He's shooting 53.8% against the rest of the Spurs. (Thanks to Elias Sports for that info).
- 21 - Assists for the Spurs. After a dismal 14 in Game 2, it's nice to see this number in the 20s again. If the Spurs want to win, it seems that they more or less have to crack 20 assists.
- 41 - Seems like Kawhi Leonard is the only Spur to play at least 40 minutes per game against Golden State, averaging nearly 42 per night. The Spurs need him out there for this long.
- 36 - Minutes per game by the Big Fundamental in this series, a cool 6 minutes above his season average. He doesn't look tired and is playing great ball. Pop planned for the postseason.
- 11.3% - Field goal percentage differential. The Warriors only made five fewer shots, but had 10 more attempts at the basket than the Spurs. San Antonio was efficient from the field, but not from beyond the perimeter, where they only hit 30%. They were also uncharacteristically poor (for this season anyways) from the free throw line, hitting less than 70% from there.
- 24 - Fouls called on the Warriors, while the Spurs had 19. The Spurs attacked Bogut and Ezeli in order to get them out of the game and onto the bench. The Golden State big men totaled 42 minutes, as much as each of their backcourt got tonight (Curry and Thompson).
- 9 - Fast break points by the Warriors, continuing a trend this series, in which they only average 9 a game. San Antonio had only 7, but limiting these transition points is key in stopping the Warriors offense and momentum.
Bird is the Word
That's a gutty answer by Spurs after Warriors wiped out 9-pt halftime lead and tied at 65; 7-0 run, w/ @manuginobili at line to try and-one— Mike Monroe (@Monroe_SA) May 11, 2013
Tony Parker: 25 first-half points for Spurs. He was hot from all over the floor twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo/...— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 11, 2013
Spurs TP is on fire. Great response to criticism. GSt needs to 2 time him on S/rolls this half. Make somebody else beat them.— Phil Jackson (@PhilJackson11) May 11, 2013
Spurs have more assists in first 10 minutes than then entire first half of Game 2. Making shots helps.— Jeff McDonald (@JMcDonald_SAEN) May 11, 2013
10— Danny Green (@DGreen_14) May 11, 2013
- If you noticed above, Danny Green tweeted the number '10'. Yep, that's the number of games remaining until they win the Finals. A little overconfident, but I think we need a dose of that now that Stephen Jackson is gone.
- Kawhi Leonard was a monster on the +/- with a +17. If Leonard hits two more of his free throws (he was 4/8 after hitting 82.5% during the regular season), he gets to 17 points and 9 boards. Only eight players averaged those stats during this regular season, one of them being the Spurs' very own Tim Duncan. Kevin Love doesn't really count because he only played 18 games this year. The list essentially consists of what are thought to be the best forwards and centers in the game. Kawhi would be the only guard/forward hybrid in that. He's averaging 6 rebounds in the regular season and is averaging nearly 8.5 per game in the playoffs. Leonard has been stepping his game up.
- That decibel meter became annoying after a while. The Spurs kept the crowd out of it for the most part, but it bears saying, Golden State's fans are extremely excitable and stand up for every single run that the Warriors go on, and usually help spur on their momentum. They're loving the playoffs, and for good reason. It's been more than 5 years since they advanced to the postseason.
- David Lee was out there, hits a couple shots right away. Roaracle loved it. It's unlikely that he can be that beneficial to the Warriors at this point after his torn hip flexor.
- Matt Bonner put up a stat line that was so Bonner-esque: 6 minutes, 0/3 Field Goals, 0/2 from the arc, no other stats except a personal foul. He has to play spot minutes to rest Duncan and/or Splitter, but nothing like he saw against the slower paced Lakers. Bonner isn't built for small ball.
- Manu had 28 minutes logged, but shot only 1-8 from downtown. Remove him from the spurs 3-point percentage, and it rockets from 30% on 6/20 to 42%, Curry like levels. Ginobili did hit his other three field goals inside the three point line. He should just drive to the hoop, but he looks a little nervous sometimes. Overall for the game, he was a +11. The Spurs bench was much better than the Warriors', as their three significant substitutions all had negative +/- numbers.
- Great coaching by Coach Pop, calling timeouts at right times to slow momentum and draw up a play for easy points. He even used Hack-a-Bogut against the Warriors after a timeout once in the fourth quarter so that they couldn't run their play. Crafty.
- Both star point guards suffered minor injuries this game. Tony Parker was kicked in his right leg and was applying ice to it on the bench. Stephen Curry rolled his ankle after trying to stop on a dime and was limping very noticeably for a minute afterwards. He couldn't take the pain and committed a foul in order to get some rest. He didn't see medical attention and just stayed in the game. These guys are tough. They're smaller than your average point guard and still drive into the hoop and get thrown around by centers and forwards.
- Andrew Bogut was playing Duncan pretty well, but couldn't hit his free throws and was not able to stay in the game due to foul trouble. One of his fouls was a clean block, but other ones were just aggressive moves by the Australian center.
- Ginobili may have flopped a couple of times in this game. It'll be interesting to see the NBA's reaction after they fined J.R. Smith $5,000 for flopping in the Indiana/Knicks series.
Going into the Next Game, the Spurs Need to...
...keep pressure on the backcourt. If neither of those guys has a good game, the Warriors are toast. They don't have enough firepower in their forward or center position to win a game, and can only do so by attacking from the perimeter. Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson shot 12-37 and hit 6 out of 14 threes. They combined for 33 points, one more than Tony Parker had by himself. If San Antonio can stay out of foul trouble, drive to the hoop and move the ball around, they can take advantage of a young Warriors team. The Warriors responded well after their heartbreaking Game 1 loss in San Antonio. How will they react in Game 4 on Sunday?