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Game Preview: San Antonio Spurs at Golden State Warriors

Can the Silver and Black salvage their play-in tournament hopes against a championship contender on the road?

Golden State Warriors v San Antonio Spurs Photo by Garrett Ellwood/NBAE via Getty Images

The San Antonio Spurs suffered their worst loss of the season as the New Orleans Pelicans laid waste to their horrendous defense in the matchup of their seven-game homestand. Although they fell short in a contest brimful with play-in tournament implications, they will have a chance to show that performance was a dud when they visit the Chase Center.

The Golden State Warriors have all but booked their ticket to the playoffs. However, they still have plenty of incentive to perform as they can lock up at least one round of homecourt advantage if they tack on a few victories before their schedule ends. The Silver and Black still control their fate, so strap in for a knock-down-drag-out confrontation.

San Antonio Spurs (27-44) @ Golden State Warriors (47-23)

March 20, 2022 | 7:30 PM CT

Watch: Bally Sports Southwest | Listen: WOAI (1200 AM)

DraftKings Odds: Spurs +6, O/U 229

Spurs Injuries: Keita Bates-Diop (Questionable — Back), Josh Richardson (Questionable — Calf), Romeo Langford (Out — Hamstring), Doug McDermott (Out — Ankle), Robert Woodard II (Out — Two Way), D.J. Stewart (Out — Two Way), Devontae Cacok (Out — On Assignment), Lonnie Walker IV (Out — Back)

Warriors Injuries: Andre Iguodala (Out — Back), Gary Payton II (Out — Knee) James Wiseman (Out — Knee), Stephen Curry (Out — Foot), Moses Moody (Game Time Decision — Shoulder), Quinndary Weatherspoon (Out — Two Way)

What To Watch For

  • The Warriors have reclaimed their position as a Western Conference elite after back-to-back seasons missing out on the playoffs. Steph Curry has been a significant catalyst for their return to contender status. But Golden State will be without their superstar point guard as he recuperates from a foot injury suffered against the Celtics on Wednesday. Despite the glaring absence of their franchise cornerstone, Steve Kerr and company still have the luxury of trotting out Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Jordan Poole, and Andrew Wiggins. Each of those players has the talent to pick apart a defense, though Thompson and Poole have been particularly potent as of late. That duo has averaged 40.2 points, 7.8 rebounds, and 6.5 assists per game on .468/.397/.869 shooting splits since the All-Star Break. De’Aaron Fox, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Ja Morant, Terry Rozier, Fred VanVleet, CJ McCollum, and Tyler Herro have dominated the Spurs over that span, and San Antonio must find a way to contain Golden State’s backcourt.
  • With Josh Richardson and Lonnie Walker IV potentially sitting out Sunday night, head coach Gregg Popovich will probably have no choice but to call upon Josh Primo to replace their production. While there have been a few flashes of brilliance, inconsistency has plagued the rookie combo guards. Primo has played 20.8 minutes per game since the trade deadline, though his numbers haven’t been encouraging. The 19-year-old is shooting 35.9% from the field during that stretch, and he has looked happy to defer to his teammates. His confidence may be at an all-time low right now, but Primo should have a green light to keep firing away as he acclimates to the pace of the professional game. He got the starting nod versus the Pelicans last time out and giving him as much experience as possible will only improve his development as this season comes to a close.
  • Dejounte Murray has gone 33-of-79 (41.8%) from the field and committed 17 turnovers over his last four matchups. Those aren’t the numbers Spurs fans have come to expect from their All-Star guard. The Silver and Black will probably miss the play-in tournament if he doesn’t return to form over the next couple of games, and the banged-up Warriors won’t have many answers for Dejounte heading into Sunday night. Despite his inefficiency as of late, Murray has still managed to average 25-8-8 since helping Pop snag the all-time regular-season wins record. Getting to the free-throw line has helped power his recent scoring surge, and Dejounte could carry San Antonio to a top-ten seed if he can raise his percentages across the board. The 25-year-old floor general will need help from Keldon Johnson, Jakob Poeltl, and the rest of the supporting cast, but everything starts with how he plays.

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