The 2013 NBA playoffs resumed on Friday, May 10, as the San Antonio Spurs temporarily halted the Golden State Warriors' momentum with a 102-92 win in Game 3 of their Western Conference semifinals series.
With their win, the Spurs pull ahead for a 2-1 series lead. This comes after the teams split the opening two games in San Antonio.
So how did momentum shift in this series?
Tony Parker led all scorers with 32 points on 13-of-23 shooting. Tim Duncan complemented his efforts with 23 points and 10 rebounds of his own.
On the opposite end, six Warriors scored in double figures, including Andrew Bogut, who finished with 11 points and 12 rebounds. The sharpshooting duo of Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, meanwhile, was smothered defensively and combined to shoot 12-of-37 from the floor.
As expected, the production began at the opening tip.
Both teams started hot, pushing the pace and capitalizing on openings in the opposing defense. Surprisingly, it was the older team, the Spurs, that managed to take advantage of this uptempo affair early on.
With Tim Duncan draining his signature bank shot and Tony Parker doing a little bit of everything in tallying 12 first-quarter points, San Antonio jumped out to an early 32-23 lead on the road.
In the second quarter, both teams tallied 25 points and thus kept San Antonio's lead at nine entering the half. Parker led the charge, once again, scoring eight straight points and 13 for the quarter, bringing his total to 25.
That includes a late three-pointer that countered a Jarrett Jack-led charge in the second quarter.
Tony Parker: 25 first-half points for Spurs. He was hot from all over the floor twitter.com/ESPNStatsInfo/…— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 11, 2013
The Warriors were expected to strike in the third quarter, and Curry put forth his best period of play. Golden State started hot, scoring the first six points and soon tying the game at 65-65 with 6:20 remaining.
And then they went cold.
The Spurs went on an 11-0 run from that point, holding the Warriors scoreless for 5:59. San Antonio's veteran squad entered the fourth quarter with a 79-69 lead.
And just like that, the Warriors went on yet another run.
Golden State scored the first nine points of the fourth quarter, receiving four points from Draymond Green and a three from Thompson in the process. Unfortunately, Green missed a free throw with the Warriors down 69-68.
They never got that close again.
Danny Green and Parker hit back-to-back threes before both squads went scoreless for nearly three minutes. The Warriors saw a span of 5:40 between field goals, instead receiving three free throws to account for their scoring output in that time.
By the time they hit a jumper, it was 91-83 Spurs with just over four minutes remaining.
It was the usual suspects stepping up when it counted, as Parker, Duncan and Manu Ginobili dominated the closing minutes on both ends. Even as Parker and Curry nursed lower-leg injuries, there was no sign of a comeback.
The Spurs held on for a 102-92 win and 2-1 series lead.
As stated, the action began early in this one, as neither team let up offensively in the first half. At the heart of the frenzy was none other than All-Star point guard and 2007 NBA Finals MVP Tony Parker.
At the half, Parker had been doing his best Klay Thompson impersonation with 25 huge points.
C'EST MAGNIFIQUE! Tony Parker has 25 Pts, 4 Reb and 3 Ast at halftime. Spurs lead Warriors, 57-48.— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) May 11, 2013
Are we truly surprised by anything Parker does at this point?
The only story more notable than Parker's production was the unbelievable support that the Oracle Arena displayed for their Warriors. For those who question that, direct your eyes to the video below.
Viewer beware: It's pandemonium.
How's that for a home-court advantage?
As exciting as it may be to play at the Oracle Arena, one individual wasn't so enthused. That man, of course, is legendary Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich.
Allow us to explain.
Gregg Popovich is not happy. 9-0 run by the Warriors. twitter.com/BleacherReport…— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) May 11, 2013
When you've won four NBA championships, it shows your passion when an opponent's 9-0 run ruins your nights.
Parker deserves the praise for this win, but the story of this game—and potentially the series—is Danny Green. That may seem to come out of nowhere, but it's all about defense when it comes to Green.
Just ask Stephen Curry.
Stephen Curry is now 2-for-19 when guarded by Danny Green in this series.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 11, 2013
Has San Antonio found the Curry container?
Not to be outdone by a teammate's defense, Parker did join rare company by scoring 30 points on this evening. In fact, Parker surpassed an Admiral and joined an Ice Man and a fundamental guru in a certain category.
Tony Parker: 14th postseason game with 30+ points, 3rd-most in Spurs history, surpassing David Robinson's 13 (Tim Duncan has most- 35)— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 11, 2013
Is Parker a Hall of Famer like George Gervin and Tim Duncan?
Before you answer that question, it's important that we note just how well Parker has played during the postseason. While other players garner hype for their regular-season accolades, Parker is in the same class as David Robinson and Duncan in many regards.
Here's one of them.
3 Spurs have had 30 points, 5 rebounds + 5 assists in a road playoff winin last 25 seasons- Tony Parker (2x), Tim Duncan, David Robinson— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) May 11, 2013
Now you can provide your answer.