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15 April 2018, 06:31 | Charlene Valdez
Andre Ingram the 32-year-old rookie of the Los Angeles Lakers.
CREDIT AP Images
The 26-year-old only lasted nine games, however, and hasn't played for the Spurs since January 13. But hey, it worked.
Although we didn't get to see one of those typical third quarters from the Warriors, in no way did they let their foot off the pedal to start the second half, pushing their lead to 86-63 going into the final 12 minutes. The team also noted that he will be re-evaluated in one week.
The playoff tipoff was all about the Warriors re-establishing their muscle flex and their defense and most importantly, their aura, even with Steph Curry still out and ailing, because the rest of the National Basketball Association was watching. However, San Antonio struggled against the swarming Golden State defense.
Golden State came with the kind of swarming defense it is so used to playing but hadn't exhibited much lately as rotations were mixed and matched because of injuries and illness.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who played for San Antonio's Gregg Popovich during the Spurs' ongoing championship era, sounded like his mentor when he labeled much of what happened in March and earlier this month as "meaningless". Rudy Gay led the Spurs with 15 points and six rebounds off the bench. If the Warriors are going to roll today, it's probably because San Antonio had no answer for Durant.
Golden State and San Antonio will play Game 2 of the best-of-seven playoff on Monday at 10:30 p.m. ET at Oracle Arena.
It is generally accepted that the Warriors will perspire some, feel a degree of burn in their lungs, receive an urgency slap in the face and get pushed toward the edge of their defending championship throne once they play a team from Texas.
The Warriors, who never trailed in this game, had 32 assists on 44 field goals.
Golden State has an excellent 58-24 SU record, but they have trouble covering the spread (33-46-3 ATS). His absence is huge for the Warriors but they still might have enough firepower to advance past the first round. San Antonio is 2-5 ATS in its last seven games versus Golden State. They are not the same team.
With the insertion of Iguodala into the starting lineup along with JaVale McGee, the Warriors got longer and more athletic which made it very tough for the Spurs to get into the paint which is where much of their offense is generated.
"When he's ready, he's ready but he's making progress, which is a good sign", Kerr said. Both however are good defensive players within a team concept, making good plays on the ball and rotating well, key parts of the mid-range-and-D system that carried the Spurs here (along with veteran wing Danny Green, who had a small offensive upswing this year by virtue of attacking more off the dribble again).
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