The Golden State Warriors prevailed 116-101 over the San Antonio Spurs in game 2 of the first round in what was a close game heading into the fourth quarter. The Warriors will now take a 2-0 lead to San Antonio after earning a pair of victories in front of their home fans.
The Warriors went with their same starting lineup from game 1 that consisted of Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and JaVale McGee.
Starting Iguodala at point guard was a unique move to try to combat the absence of Stephen Curry, and although he only scored 3 points in game 1, Iguodala registered a +16 in his 23 minutes on the court.
The Spurs were forced to make some adjustments to their starting lineup after the dismal showing from that unit in game 1.
Rudy Gay got the start at power forward over Kyle Anderson to try to inject some much needed. Gay led the Spurs with 15 points off the bench in game 1.
The four other starters for the Spurs were the same as game 1, with Patty Mills, Dejonte Murray, Danny Green, and LaMarcus Aldridge on the court at tip-off.
Green got into early foul trouble for the Warriors when he picked up two quick personal fouls less than three minutes into the game.
Kevon Looney was called upon to replace Green earlier than Steve Kerr would have liked, although Green was back in the game by the end of the first quarter.
The game started at a frenetic pace, and the Warriors committed numerous turnovers. However, Iguodala helped propel the Warriors to an early lead with some sharp shooting from the perimeter.
The entire Warriors squad came out on fire, hitting 7 of their first 8 field goals to open up the contest. The Spurs answered that offensive prowess with a 9-0 run of their own to take the lead towards the end of the first quarter.
Turnovers were the biggest problem for the Warriors early on. They committed 7 turnovers in the first quarter alone, while the Spurs only coughed the ball up once the opening quarter.
The Spurs looked much more aggressive early on, particularly Aldridge, who finished the first quarter with 11 points after scoring just 14 points all of game 1.
The first quarter concluded with the Spurs ahead 25-23. Iguodala and Durant combined for 17 of those 23 points. The Spurs shot just 36% from the field in the first quarter, but they had five more field goal attempts than the Warriors and three more free throw attempts.
The Spurs were just 2-9 in the first quarter on 3-pointers, but they had an 8-2 advantage over the Warriors in points in the paint.
The Warriors missed 9 consecutive shots as the game rolled into the second quarter before an emphatic David West dunk ended the prolonged drought. West hit a couple more jumpers in the next few minutes to help stabilize the offense.
Halftime arrived with the Spurs clinging to a 53-47 lead. Aldridge had 17 points at the half, and Gay delivered 10 points on 5-7 shooting in his new starting role.
The Warriors shot more than 7 percentage points better than the Spurs in the first half but had nine less field goal attempts.
Neither team was hitting many shots from downtown in the first half. The Warriors were 4-13 from 3-point range while the Spurs were 3-17 from beyond the arc.
The Spurs played solid first half defense while also taking care of the ball on offense. They forced the Warriors into 11 turnovers while they only committed two themselves.
The Spurs effectively pounded the ball down low in the first half and outscored the Warriors 22-10 in points in the paint.
The Warriors began the third quarter on a 19-5 run to retake the lead, shooting 7-9 from the field during that stretch.
The Spurs answered with a 9-0 run of their own to seize the lead again, but then the Warriors immediately responded with a 12-4 run of their own. An explosive third quarter consisting of alternating bursts of offense concluded with the Warriors ahead 80-75.
The shooting discrepancy increased through the third quarter. The Warriors were shooting 48% while the Spurs were shooting just 38%.
The Warriors had improved to 9-21 beyond the arc, while the Spurs were languishing at an ineffective 4-25 from 3-point range.
The Spurs had mitigated that poor perimeter shooting by continuing to grind in the paint. They had 34 points in the paint through three quarters, while the Warriors had 20.
The Warriors began the fourth quarter on a 14-4 run and never looked back. The most adversity that came in the fourth quarter was an injury scare.
West was forced to limp off the court after twisting his ankle. The ankle rolled over when West landed on Aldridge’s foot after a contested jump shot.
Durant led the Warriors with 32 points. Thompson overcame a relatively slow start to finish with 31 points. Four of the five starters for the Warriors (Iguodala, Thompson, Green, Durant, and Green) all finished with at least five assists.
Aldridge elevated his performance by grabbing 12 rebounds and scoring a game-high 34 points. Mills asserted himself more in this game as well, as he finished with 21 points.
The Warriors finished the game shooting 54% on field goals and 48% on 3-point field goals. They also registered an impressive 32 assists and should be feeling increasingly confident heading to San Antonio with a 2-0 lead.