Spurs at Warriors Game 2 Preview
The Golden State Warriors came into the postseason injured and slumping but quickly proved they can flip the switch to playoff mode with a dominating Game 1 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday. The Warriors will try to keep the pressure on and get off to another hot start to make it a 2-0 cushion when they host the Spurs in Game 2 on Monday.
Golden State dropped 10 of its last 17 games in the regular season and struggled on defense but tightened things up that end and held the Spurs to 17 first-quarter points to establish a lead it wouldn’t relinquish in Game 1. “Just wanted to put our best defensive lineup on the floor from the beginning,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who inserted small forward Andre Iguodala into the starting lineup, told reporters. “I think the whole point of these games here early in this series is to re-establish our defense. I think you guys know, over the last month or so, our defense has been subpar. Can’t win in this league in the playoffs unless you defend, and they defended tonight, and we went with our best defensive group.” San Antonio’s starting unit wasn’t up to the task and only LaMarcus Aldridge (14 points) scored in double figures among the starting five. “I thought we were very prepared physically and mentally,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich told reporters. “But I was mistaken. As I said, we looked like deer in the headlights. The defense was really poor as far as following game plan of the first quarter, and it’s a bad combination to play defense like that and not shoot at the other end.”
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT, FS Southwest (San Antonio), NBCS Bay Area (Golden State)
ABOUT THE SPURS: San Antonio shot 40 percent from the floor in Game 1 and managed only three offensive rebounds in the 113-92 setback. “We’ve got to regroup, feel hurt, upset, kind of desperate,” guard Manu Ginobili told reporters. “We don’t want to go home (down) 0-2. But at the same time, we’ve got to be smarter. Offensively, we’re going to have to move the ball better, sharper, be more aggressive and see what happens. We are underdogs. We’ve talked about it. To get a win here, we’ve got to overachieve.” Popovich started Rudy Gay in the second half over Kyle Anderson to generate more offense and could insert Gay into the starting lineup for Game 2.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Starting Iguodala over Quinn Cook left Golden State without a true point guard, leading to All-Star forward Kevin Durant running the offense. “It’s not just one guy who has the ball all the time and making all the plays,” Durant, who finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, told reporters. “I think that’s the beauty of our team, that all of us can go off and score 30 or get eight, nine assists or grab 11 rebounds. That’s just the beauty of our team, and all of us chip in when it comes to facilitating and orchestrating.” The Warriors recorded 32 assists on 44 made field goals in the win, led by forward Draymond Green’s 11.
1. Warriors SG Klay Thompson scored a game-high 27 points on 11-of-13 shooting in Game 1.
2. Spurs PG Tony Parker – a career 46.1 percent shooter in 222 postseason games – went 1-of-8 from the floor on Saturday.
3. Golden State won its last 10 postseason games at home.