After melting down in Game 1, the Golden State Warriors responded strong in Game 2, defeating the San Antonio Spurs by a score of 100-91. It was yet another shooting clinic by the Warriors, as they shot the lights out from beyond the arc and held on after leading by 19 at the half.
Leading the charge was Klay Thompson, who finished with 34 points and thus proved that the Warriors have much more to offer than Stephen Curry.
Curry has been stealing the headlines, but it was Thompson that shouldered the load in Game 2. He finished with 34 points and 14 rebounds, draining eight three-pointers and shooting 13-of-26 from the field.
In turn, the Warriors won their first game in San Antonio since Feb. 14, 1997—a span of 31 games.
The Warriors won at San Antonio for the 1st time in 31 games there. Last win there was February 14, 1997.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 9, 2013
That's what you call a momentous feat.
Not only was this a major win due to the location, but the circumstances, as well. As for why, note that this was the first time Golden State won during the second round of the postseason in quite some time.
22 years, to be precise.
Warriors won a road playoff game after the 1st Round for the 1st time since 1991, when they won at the Lakers in the Conference Semifinals.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 9, 2013
How about that for a win of high importance?
Perhaps more importantly than the win itself is how the Warriors won this game. On a night in which Curry struggled to develop his rhythm, the Warriors found offense from other areas and stepped up defensively.
Collectively, Golden State held the Spurs to 39.3 percent shooting from the field and 23.8 percent from beyond the arc.
The Warriors certainly benefited from San Antonio's mishaps, as they converted just 16-of-24 from the free-throw line. With that being said, Golden State went just eight men deep and still managed to pull out this one.
Thompson's sharpshooting may have created the 19-point lead at halftime, but it was ball security that secured the win.
During Game 1, the Warriors committed 21 turnovers, with 19 of them coming during regulation. During Game 2, however, Golden State only coughed it up nine times.
Curry and Jarrett Jack accounted for nine of those.
The point isn't that the Warriors can win without Curry, but instead that they are not entirely dependent on him. They will take care of the ball, all the while moving it around the perimeter and finding the open man.
It just so happens that Thompson was the player open on this given evening.
As the Warriors move forward in their series against the Spurs, the fact that another player stepped up when needed will be the key to their success. Curry is still their leader, and they will go as far as he takes them, but with Thompson's performance, a message was sent.
Even if the Spurs shut Curry down, other players on the Warriors roster can beat them—we now know that to be the case during the postseason.