The Golden State Warriors have advanced to the Western Conference semifinals with a 99-91 win in game 5 against the San Antonio Spurs. The Warriors took the series 4-1 and will play the New Orleans Pelicans in the next round.
Ettore Messina served as head coach for the third straight game in place of Gregg Popovich, who is away from the team with his family after the death of his wife Erin.
The Warriors went with the same starting lineup they’ve deployed all series: Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and JaVale McGee.
The Spurs went with the same starting lineup they’ve penciled in since game 2: Patty Mills, Dejounte Murray, Danny Green, Rudy Gay, and LaMarcus Aldridge.
The Warriors exploded at the onset, beginning the game on a 9-0 run as they looked determined to punch their ticket to the next round. The Spurs missed their first six shots of the game during that same stretch.
The momentum quickly swung, however, as the Spurs answered with their own 10-2 run to get back into the game. By the end of the first quarter, the Warriors had a 22-20 lead.
Neither team shot well in that opening quarter. The Warriors shot 40% from the field in the first quarter, while the Spurs shot just 32%.
The Warriors were just 1-7 on 3-point field goals in the opening quarter after their dreadful performance from downtown in game 4.
The Spurs continued shooting poorly into the second quarter. They underwent a stretch where they shot just 5-20 from the field.
The Warriors shot much better in the second quarter, and Thompson hit a jumper at the buzzer to extend their lead to 49-38 to conclude the half.
Thompson had 17 points at halftime on 8-12 from the field. Green had 11 rebounds by halftime for the Warriors and had dished out 5 assists.
Neither team was shooting well from 3-point range, but the Warriors had raised their field goal percentage to 47% by halftime.
The Warriors assisted on 16 out of their 20 made field goals in the first half, and were also leading the Spurs in fast break points 10-0 at the half.
The Spurs were playing ineffective offense in the third quarter. They shot 2-10 from the field during a particularly lackluster stretch.
The third quarter ended with the Warriors maintaining a 79-65 lead, just 12 minutes away from advancing to the next round of the playoffs.
The field goal percentage comparison through three quarters was indicative of how the game had unfolded. The Warriors were shooting 50% while the Spurs were shooting 33%.
Both teams were still shooting poorly from downtown, though, as both squads were shooting less than 25% through the third quarter.
Entering the fourth quarter, the Spurs had yet to score any fast-break points. Conversely, the Warriors had scored 19 fast break points.
The lead was seriously threatened in the fourth quarter, with the Spurs making it a one-possession game with less than a minute left.
Durant hit a huge shot with about 36 seconds left to give the Warriors a 4 point lead. On the ensuing possession, Manu Ginobili committed a costly turnover on a bad pass inside.
Durant hit two free throws on the other end to give himself 10 of the previous 12 points scored by the Warriors during crunch time.
Aldridge scored 25 of his 30 points in the second half, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Spurs season alive. Green was fouled with about 9 seconds left which essentially guaranteed the victory for the Warriors and a spot in the Western Conference semifinals.
Durant finished with 25 points, 6 rebounds, and 5 assists. Thompson finished with 24 points, 5 rebounds, and 4 assists. Green finished 17 points, 19 rebounds, and 7 assists.