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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors

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The Warriors have lost two games at home this season. One of them was to San Antonio. Can the Spurs do it again on the end of a California back-to-back?

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

San Antonio Spurs @ Golden State Warriors

Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA
February 20, 2015, 9:30 PM Spurs Time
TV: ESPN - RADIO: 1200 AM WOAI

The Raptors are playing the Hawks and Houston is at Dallas, but the best matchup on a busy Friday night, in this blogger's heavily biased opinion, is the one between the league-leading Golden State Warriors and number-one-in-our-hearts San Antonio Spurs -- or, as they're known these days, THE ONLY WEST CONTENDERS NOT LEVELING UP THEIR ROSTERS.

The spike in NBA trade activity over the past 24 hours will have fans of both teams feeling like Charlie Sheen in The Arrival. Dallas, Memphis and Houston already had significant pick-ups and, with Portland landing Arron Afflalo and OKC gunning for Brook Lopez, the Western Conference arms race is reaching a fever pitch.

There aren't many hot takes on Golden State that haven't been said already: they've been atop the league standings for most of the year; they're the darlings of both advanced metrics and social media, and even their head coach could probably shoot 40% from three this season.

At the beginning of the season, the sight of playing these guys not once but twice on SEGABABAs would've understandably led you to circle the two contests as likely Ls. But San Antonio has the chance to turn that pesky wrinkle in their regular season schedule into one of the more impressive feats of the season.

The 113-100 victory on November 11th came through one of the team's most complete performances of the season. The Silver and Black shot nearly 50% from the field, 40% from three and turned the ball over only eight times. But it also took some uncharacteristic play from GS, who logged 20 turnovers and couldn't get one three from Three-Point Contest winner Curry. Don't count on both of those things happening tonight.

Lots of things have to go right to win against the Warriors, especially on the road: you have to hope that Draymond Green's impact, which infects all facets of the game, is limited; you want one of Steph Curry or Klay Thompson to go cold and not get too many open looks off broken plays (which they prey on), and you need the opposite to happen on your end from three -- because winning the paint battle against Andrew Bogut's stellar D is a tough task.

And somehow I'm still going with SA, who's won its last five against Golden State and has been solid (8-5) on SEGABABAs on the season. More importantly, I think it's a matchup that kind of works for San Antonio. The Warriors don't have the overwhelming athletes that trump solid-but-not-lockdown defensive execution, and they've looked mortal in their last two games (ho-hum wins against the Sixers and T-Wolves).

Matchup to watch: The backcourt battle. This season has turned 'Klaytheists' out of many people who once clamored to trade Thompson to acquire Kevin Love. But Verde is no slouch, and his two-way play could be taxing on the first-time All-Star. Meanwhile Tony had one of his best games of the season in the November win against GS. They don't need to be as good as the Splash Brothers, but a strong showing could spell success for San Antonio.

vs.

Golden State Warriors (42-9)

San Antonio Spurs (34-19)

February 20, 2015

Oracle Arena, Oakland, CA

9:30 PM CDT

TV: ESPN

Radio: WOAI 1200AM

Starters

Stephen Curry

PG

Tony Parker

Klay Thompson

SG

Danny Green

Harrison Barnes

SF

Kawhi Leonard

Draymond Green

PF

Boris Diaw

Andrew Bogut

C

Tim Duncan


For the Warriors perspective, please visit Golden State of Mind.

Game prediction: Spurs by 4.

As always Tony must dominate Fisher, and you can get your San Antonio Spurs tickets from Daniel Farias with Spurs Sports & Entertainment: Tel: 210-444-5607 | dfarias@attcenter.com