San Antonio Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said after the game (per @KyleBonagura) that it was “polite” of the Golden State Warriors to have Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry switch off games in which they were on fire from the field.
Wednesday night was Thompson’s turn.
The Warriors defeated the Spurs in Game 2 of the second round of the Western Conference playoffs, just two nights removed from a game in which Golden State gave up a 16-point lead in the final 4:30 of regulation to lose in the second overtime.
Thompson led Wednesday’s game with 34 points and 14 rebounds, including 29 points in the first half on 7-of-8 shooting from behind the arc.
While San Antonio made their second consecutive late-game run, Golden State’s lead was good enough this time for a nine-point win.
Whether or not the young roster of the Warriors knew the Spurs were making their second consecutive late-game run in the fourth quarter or not, they were the better team for the second game in a row.
How will this series play out?
Golden State is too good of shooters to understand the moment and to understand what they are accomplishing in these playoffs. It is in Mark Jackson’s game plan, and for the majority of the game Wednesday night, they could do no wrong.
The Warriors are tied 1-1 in a best-of-seven series that saw them win one game impressively and come up short in a game they will be kicking themselves for once all is said and done.
All is not said and done, though—not even close.
Just two nights removed from disaster, the Warriors did not have time to reflect—only look ahead.
Golden State should be up 2-0 in a series everyone counted them out in before the series even started. Now, the Spurs are in trouble after coming just an opponent’s meltdown away from being decisively overmatched.
So the series turns to Oakland and the raucous Oracle Arena Friday where the Warriors have yet to lose. It is a place Golden State should not lose in, and probably will not lose in, making it all the more tough for the Spurs to regain command of a series they arguably never had control of.
The Warriors have played back-to-back games in San Antonio where they have carried two double-digit leads late into the game. While the atmosphere in San Antonio allowed the Spurs to reinsert themselves into the game Monday and Wednesday, an Oracle Arena crowd draped in yellow may have something to say about that on Friday.
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