San Antonio Spurs point guard Dejounte Murray (5) drives on the Golden State Warriors Stephen Curry (30) on Wed Jan 20, 2021 in San Antonio (@FrostBank/#GoSpursGo photo)
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors, coming off a thrilling 115-113 win over the defending NBA champion Los Angeles Lakers, blew away the visiting San Antonio Spurs Wednesday night 121-99.
The San Antonio coach, Greg Popovich, now in his 25th year as the man in charge, was facing his pupil. Warrior coach Steve Kerr once again. Wednesday’s game was the 20th time the two coaches, mentor, and pupil squared off. Popovich led 10-9 in the games between the two coaches. The series is now tied at ten each.
The Warriors owned the first half. Steph Curry and Draymond Green led the young Warriors to a 64-45 advantage at halftime. They played the best first 24 minutes of the season in the first half. They never trailed in the game.
They won the first quarter 36-24. The Spurs opened the second quarter with a 7-0 run. San Antonio closed to within five 43-38. It was at this point, the Warrior offense got rolling again as they went on a 16-0 run to lead 59-38.
Curry paced the team with 20 points. Three other starters, Andrew Wiggins, Kelly Oubre, Jr., and James Wiseman, were all in double figures. The Warriors moved the ball well and attacked the basket. They played solid defense and contested San Antonio’s three-point shots. The Warriors shot 53.5% from the floor and held San Antonio to 32.7%. The Warriors made eight three in 16 attempts. San Antonio connected on three threes in 21 tries.
In the third quarter, San Antonio was not able to cut into the Warriors 19 point lead. They started to make a move when they were able to force two Warrior turnovers into four points. The Warriors answered. The Warriors maintained the 19 point advantage 90-71 at the end of three periods.
The Warriors’ second unit started the fourth quarter. Kelly Oubre and Andrew Wiggins were on the floor with Eric Paschall, Brad Wanamaker, and Damion Lee. The Warriors put the game out of reach when Wiggins hit two threes, followed by a Brad Wanamaker three to lead 110-86. The Warriors coasted the rest of the way to a comfortable 121-99 victory.
Game Notes and stats: Curry led the team with 26 points and 11 rebounds. Rookie James Wiseman played the best game as a Warrior Wednesday night. Wiseman was on the floor for 25 minutes of action. He was eight-for 11 from the floor and ended with 20 points, six rebounds, and four assists. Andrew Wiggins had 18, Oubre 16, and Draymond Green nine. Eric Paschall had seven. Jordan Poole knocked down three threes to finish with nine.
DeJounte Murray led the Spurs with 22. DeMar DeRozan had 15, Keldon Johnson 12, Rudy Gay 11. LaMarcus Aldridge was held to four points.
The Warriors shot 50.5% from the floor. They made 15 threes. The Spurs shot 37.6 from the floor and made four threes in 34 attempts. The Warriors outrebounded the Spurs 65-51. For the second game in a row, the Warriors recorded 31 assists that indicated they were moving the ball well and finding the open man.
The Warriors improved to 8-6 for the season. San Antonio is now 8-7.
The Warriors host the New York Knicks Thursday night at the Chase Center. The Knicks, coached by Tom Thibodeau, are 6-7 for the season and play well on defense. Expect the Knicks to double team Curry early in the game. The game will start at 6 pm.