The San Antonio Spurs came all the way back from a 14-point first half deficit and held off a late Golden State Warriors rally to take the hard-fought contest. As a result, the Warriors lost its 41st game in San Antonio in the last 44 tries. San Antonio was led by monstrous efforts from Dejounte Murray (27 points, 10 rebounds, 8 steals) and DeMar DeRozan (21 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds). Stephen Curry (32 points, 7 rebounds, and 6 assists) and Kelly Oubre (24 points, 4 rebounds) led a hearty Warriors squad in the loss.
- Derrick White and Dejounte Murray started together tonight! It may take some time for them to gel to anticipated cohesion and particularly for White to find his sea-legs as he missed ten of his eleven attempts, especially at the rim and around the paint.
- DeMar DeRozan’s statistics coming into the game: 20.5 ppg, 6.6 apg, 5.1 rpg. Guess which former star put up similar numbers (21.1 ppg, 7.1 rpg, 6.6 apg) for a decent team that was also on the rise? Prime Grant Hill. They owned different skillsets obviously, but DeRozan deserves immense credit for refining his game to bring in his teammates into the fold. DeRozan passed former Warrior Latrell Sprewell in all-time scoring over the weekend.
- Sequence of the Game: After a sweet 16-footer by Murray, he swiped the ball cleanly from Kent Bazemore... only to have the ball squib into Green’s hands in transition. Poeltl erased the ensuing Oubre lay-up and was the recipient of a DeRozan delivery at the other end for a lay-up of his own.
- Warriors TV Analyst and locally known goofnut Bob Fitzgerald quipped “I’ll say it. The RiverWalk is overrated.” He obviously hasn’t tried the wonderful food there during his numerous past trips here.
- Keldon’s Kitchen: Keldon trailed on an early Murray miss in transition and got himself a putback. It’s easy to see him padding his point total in games with 2-3 of these type of hustle plays.
- Devin’s Deeds: Vassell is showing off a Rudy Gay-like one dribble and pull-up skill on offense, which helps bail him out of tough situations often.
- Floppy Play: The Spurs tried to run it once early in the second period to no avail.
- The plight of an NBA big man: Curry got around Jakob Poeltl on the right baseline and leapt sideways - well horizontally - into an unsuspecting Poeltl to get off a one-armed shove towards the rim - and of course was ceded the superstar foul call.
- From the tip, Kelly Oubre and the Warriors peppered the net early on with 5 of 6 from three, while Johnson was the multifaceted tool San Antonio needed. DeRozan asserted himself to help San Antonio get back into contention later in the opening stanza. Curry then took over the offense with gorgeous shotmaking to push the Warriors out to 36-27 after one.
- After a Patty Mills three to start the second period, the Warriors bench outhustled their counterparts and pushed the advantage to 14. The Spurs could have been renamed the ‘Masons’ with their brick laying, but stayed within striking distance due to the Warriors being turnover-prone. All-world playmaker Draymond Green even got into the action, chucking two passes out of bounds. Murray led a Spurs comeback with elevated two-way play and had 16 points and five steals. A Poeltl dunk briefly tied the game, but the Warriors exited the half up five with Oubre, Jr. leading the way with 18 points.
- DeRozan canned several jumpers and the Murray/White backcourt asserted themselves on the perimeter to help San Antonio claim the lead after the break. Golden State sought out Poeltl on perimeter pick and rolls to moderate success. Curry missed a pair of open threes - that actually happened. Back-to-back dunks by Oubre Jr. put the Warriors ahead by two going into the final frame.
- Hot outside shooting supplied by Rudy Gay and Mills netted San Antonio an eight point advantage early in the fourth. Rare crunch-time minutes for Drew Eubanks netted him a forced turnover and a block. Curry’s 5-0 run shaved the Warriors deficit to two. Golden State squandered several opportunities to tie it or take the lead, but Murray nailed a wing three to make it 96-91. Mills drew the Warriors’ 20th turnover on an Andrew Wiggins elbow. Gay was the beneficiary of a late foul call and made two of his three free throws. Free throws and a difficult layup by Curry made things perilously close heading into the final possessions.
- White improbably found Murray on the left wing through a thicket of Warriors arms and he hit an even more impossibly difficult three while falling out of bounds to make it 101-97. Curry nailed his own stepback three to make it 101-100. DeRozan converted both free throws at the other end. Green took the inbounds pass and with White feigning a reach-in harpooned a shot off the backboard. DeRozan provided the final points in the victory.
For the Warriors fans perspective, visit Golden State of Mind.
Both teams return back here tomorrow evening for a home SEGABABA at 7:30 PM CT.