Preview: Spurs at Warriors
The Golden State Warriors struggled to find the energy to compete in two games at home after returning from a long trip but managed to split the two and will try to secure a winning three-game homestand when they host the San Antonio Spurs on Wednesday. The Warriors will play three of five at home leading up to the All-Star break as they try to build momentum for the stretch run.
Golden State swept a five-game road trip and was enjoying an 11-game winning streak before falling 113-104 at home to the Philadelphia 76ers on Thursday and needed an injection of energy in the form of a DeMarcus Cousins dunk on Saturday before shaking off the cobwebs and pulling away for a 115-101 victory over the Los Angeles Lakers. “I thought his dunk brought the arena to life,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters. “It brought the team to life. We were searching for energy and emotion up until that point.” The Spurs were enjoying a five-game winning streak before beginning the annual rodeo road trip with a 127-112 loss at the Sacramento Kings on Monday. San Antonio has seven stops left on a road trip that spans the All-Star break and includes trips to Portland and Utah this week.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, KENS (San Antonio), NBCS Bay Area (Golden State)
ABOUT THE SPURS (32-23): San Antonio went 2-4 on the rodeo road trip last season and got off to an inauspicious start this year while allowing its most points in a loss since falling 139-105 at Utah on Dec. 4. The Spurs allowed the upstart Kings to shoot 55.6 percent from the floor and were outscored by 11 points in the second half. The positive was an offensive breakout from star guard DeMar DeRozan, who scored 24 points on 10-of-15 shooting after going 8-of-26 from the floor in the previous two contests.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (37-15): Golden State’s biggest challenge over the final two months of the regular season will be getting Cousins up to speed after he missed the first 45 games recovering from Achilles surgery. The 28-year-old is averaging 14.4 points on 43.6 percent shooting in seven games and pointed to Saturday’s big dunk as a step in the right direction. “It feels good to be able to finish,” Cousins told reporters. “Obviously, I haven’t been finishing the way that I would like; that’s still a process that I am trying to get through. Just finding my touch and balance around the rim. It was a good finish, I am happy about that.”
1. Warriors SF Kevin Durant is 4-of-23 from 3-point range over the last five games.
2. Spurs PG Derrick White (plantar fasciitis) sat out Monday and could be out until after the All-Star break.
3. San Antonio took the first meeting of the season 104-92 at home on Nov. 18 behind 24 points and 18 rebounds from All-Star PF LaMarcus Aldridge.