Early in Friday's game, the Spurs offense seemed to be humming along like the good ol' days. Manu Ginobili finds Kawhi Leonard off the Baynes pick and roll. After he is chased off the three point line by Klay Thompson, Kawhi penetrates off the hop to create space for Manu. True to the "good-to-great" ethos of yore, Manu uses his patented pump fake to attack the wild Harrison Barnes closeout and ultimately finds Kawhi, again for the baby hook. Even though the spacing isn't tremendous, it was nice to see the ball humming.
Here Tiago Splitter shows again that he is an underrated passer; after bringing the ball up in transition, he spots Patty Mills on a beautiful back-door cut with the bounce pass. Manu Ginobili creates the action with a screen fake, and while the Warriors aggresively tried to deny Manu the ball, Curry gets lulled to sleep a bit on Mills.
This for me was the play of the game for the Spurs. Boris Diaw was in one of his unique zones where he was both the unstoppable force AND the immovable object. He was 3-for-3 at this point, including 3 of the Spurs final 5 buckets to end the 1st quarter. He showed he is simply one of the best interior passers in the NBA and also showed that Draymond Green's lack of size can be utilized in the post.
But Aron Baynes should get a fair share of the credit on this play, showing how much he is improving every game. Notice his movement into space as Boris works his post move across the paint. Also, not an easy finish over a fully extended Marreese Speights.
On a night where both Parker and Duncan seemed to be a bit deflated after excellent individual performances were squandered against the Clippers, this probably was the high-water mark for both. It was also probably the Spurs high point for the game; the last time they'd lead. Parker had the lengthy and athletic Barnes on him, and his overplay of the dribble hand-off screen, plus Parker's flash of his old athleticism found Bogut shading and leaving Duncan for the easy layup.
Finally, a play that is simply classic Manu. After trapping Klay Thompson in the corner with Boris's man out of the picture (and with the Land Walrus able to offer at least a facsimile of a double team), Thompson attempts to muscle free and attack the basket. He was probably trying to draw Splitter in, in order to dump off or kick out. Regardless, there are 4 Spurs in the area, so if Manu doesn't time this perfectly, the Warriors are looking at yet another easy basket. Manu then "races" down the court and finishes with more great body positioning than sheer athleticism. This would help stop the bleeding in the third quarter, with the Spurs rallying to within 10 before Kerr brought Steph Curry back out to ultimately wrap up the game.