Golden State Warriors forward Kevon Looney drives around Warriors center Zaza Pachulia (27), of Georgia, as he is defended by San Antonio Spurs’ Kyle Anderson (1) and Dewayne Dedmon (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game, Saturday, March 11, 2017, in San Antonio. (AP Photo/Darren Abate)
by Jerry Feitelberg
San Antonio- The Golden State Warriors finished a very long stretch of eight games in 13 days when they played the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday night in Texas. The Dubs traveled 13,000 miles to play in the East, Midwest, West Coast, and back to the Midwest. Head coach Steve Kerr decided to rest Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguodala. The move was planned even though the Dubs knew that the game in San Antonio was going to be big. However, Kerr decided to take the long view and did not want his players worn out before the playoffs started. Kevin Durant is still sidelined and the Dubs are hoping that KD would return in three weeks from his injury. The Spurs were missing stars too. Kawhi Leonard was sidelined with a concussion. Tony Parker and Dejounte Murray did not play due to injury and LaMarcus Aldridge was ruled out indefinitely with a minor heart arrhythmia.
The only regular in the starting lineup for the Warriors was Zaza Pachulia. Matt Barnes and Kevon Looney started at forward and the guards were Shaun Livingston and Patrick McCaw. The Spurs countered with Patty Mills and Kyle Anderson at the guard position. Former Warrior David Lee and Danny Green were paired at forward and DeWayne Dedmon started at center.
The Spurs had no trouble piercing the Warriors’ defense. They made several three -point shots and were able to lead 53-37 midway through the second quarter. Steve Kerr said this after the game:”I was disappointed in the defense in the first half.” The Spurs led the rest of the way and sent the Dubs down to defeat 107-85.
The one bright spot for the Warriors was the play of Ian Clark. Clark scored a career-high 36 points coming off the bench. Patrick McCaw, on the other hand, had a terrible night as he went 0-for-12 and scored just two points in the game. Kerr remarked that all players will have a night like McCaw’s at some point in their career but McCaw is a very good player in a league full of great players.
Game Notes and stats- Matt Barnes had 14 points and nine boards. Pachulia recorded a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds. No one else scored more than 8 points in the game for the Warriors. The Spurs had five players in double figures including Pau Gasol with ten, Kyle Anderson 13, and rookie Davis Bertans, who was just called up from the D-League on March 6th, knocked down 13.
The Dubs played Minnesota Friday night and then arrived in San Antonio at 3 am Saturday morning. There is no doubt that the club was tired and their play showed it Saturday night. However, newcomer Matt Barnes put things into perspective this way:”it’s more about May and June than March.” The Dubs’ are now 52-14 and have 16 games left on the schedule. They still have a half game lead over the Spurs but if the teams are tied at the end of the season, the tie-breaker will go to San Antonio and they will have home-court advantage throughout the playoffs.
The Dubs are off until next Tuesday. They play the Philadelphia 76ers at Oracle Arena. Game time will be at 7:30 pm.