The San Antonio Spurs’ toughest season of this century finally came to a conclusion tonight with a 99-91 loss to the Golden State Warriors. On the road again, which has been the bane of their existence throughout the second half of the season, the Spurs managed to overcome a poor start and even gave the Warriors quite the scare in the waning minutes of this game, but they couldn’t overcome another poor shooting night to defeat the defending champions.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 30 points, followed by 18 from Patty Mills. Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson combined for 49 points for the Warriors, who will now face a New Orleans Pelicans team that easily swept the Portland Trail Blazers in their own first round match-up.
- The Spurs weathered the storm early. After the Warriors started the game on a 9-0 run, the Spurs got back to moving the ball on offense and mostly sticking to their men on defense to get back in it. They even briefly took the lead on a Manu Ginobili three and ended the quarter only down 22-20.
- Of course, once again the Spurs shot pretty horrifically on the road, hitting only 37 percent of their shots (and that’s after hitting half their shots in the fourth quarter). What kept them in the game was defense, but once Thompson got going for 17 first half points, that gave them the separation they needed.
- The Spurs hung tough throughout the second half, defending well and remaining within 9 to 16 points before a late run, but they just weren’t shooting well enough to get over the hump. Ultimately, another sub-40 percent shooting night put an end to this season.
- I tried really hard to watch this game with no emotion and accepting the Spurs’ fate, and I was successful until the final minutes when the Spurs went on a 14-3 run to make it a two-point game inside the final minute, spearheaded by 11 points from Aldridge. The Warriors prevailed by ending the game on a 6-0 run, but man, it is impossible to stay neutral on these Spurs because of the effort they give.
- I know this was Kyle Anderson’s first meaningful postseason, but he really took a step back from the regular season in this series, and lot of that appeared to be nerves. Usually sure-handed, he fumbled catches out of bounds all series long, made unusually poor passing decisions (for him) . . . he just wasn’t himself. Be it with the Spurs or someone else, this will have been a valuable learning experience for him as well as the other young guns going forward.
- What can you say about Manu? 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 7 assists. After becoming the first to do it in NBA history, it was his third double-figure scoring game off the bench at the age of
5040. Chris Webber was claiming he’s heard Manu wants to return next season, and on this rare occasion I believe him. Whatever he decides won’t be surprising, but he just doesn’t look like he’s done, mentally or physically. Uno mas Manu!
That’s it for this season. It has been an honor covering the Spurs for you Pounders once again. Of course we will still be here bringing you news and other summer nonsense throughout the offseason, so don’t be a stranger!