The San Antonio Spurs showed more fight in Game 2, but the outcome wasn’t all that different from the series opener as the Golden State Warriors, when push came to shove, took care of business with a 116-101 win to go up 2-0.
Here are four stats that stood out:
The Spurs managed to keep the game competitive… until Durant and Thompson decided enough was enough and created distance.
It was a reminder of just how loaded Golden State are – even without Stephen Curry – that when two of their stars found their rhythm, there was nothing San Antonio could do to avoid the avalanche.
And the Warriors kept feeding them too as they combined for 39 field goal attempts, while no other player that saw minutes took more than nine shots.
14.3 – Spurs’ 3-point percentage
San Antonio were money from inside the arc, converting 16-of-20 attempts in the restricted area and shooting 54.4 per cent overall on 2-pointers.
That would normally be good enough to beat a lot of teams, but against the Warriors, 3-point shooting is paramount, and the Spurs misfired on 24-of-28 triples, while Golden State hit 15-of-31 themselves.
San Antonio were not a good 3-point shooting team in the regular season and their best offensive weapon, sans Kawhi Leonard, is to feed LaMarcus Aldridge in the mid-post. Unless they create some variance by hitting 3s, this series will be a short one.
2 – Spurs’ first-half turnovers
A major reason why San Antonio led 53-47 at halftime was because they didn’t beat themselves in the first half. Like, at all.
The Spurs committed just two turnovers over the first two quarters, which led to just two points for Golden State. In the second half San Antonio were sloppier and coughed the ball up seven times, leading to 12 Warriors points.
Even though they still won the turnover battle for the game, it speaks to just how perfect the Spurs have to be to have a chance in this series.
32.6 – Aldridge’s usage percentage
The Spurs big man did everything he could to even the series and steal one on the road, scoring 34 points on 11-of-21 and looking unstoppable near the elbows and in the post.
San Antonio made the right adjustments to free up spots for Aldridge after he got just 12 shot attempts in Game 1 and the results were encouraging.
No-one on Golden State is capable of stopping Aldridge, outside of JaVale McGee for stretches, so the Spurs’ best bet is to continue putting the ball in their All-Star’s hands as much as possible.
Aldridge and his mid-range jumpers alone won’t be enough to beat the Warriors, but San Antonio have precious few options.
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