With Curry limited to 25 total minutes over their final 17 regular-season games, the Warriors went 7-10.
Their collective performance to end the regular season, however, was uninspiring. San Antonio knows that they're going to have to come up with a better strategy in Game 2 on the offensive end. Their fans know how good this team is.
"To get a win here, we've got to overachieve", San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili said. "I was talking with several coaches and execs from teams in the West morass from 3 to 8, 9", Lowe said. They're not together. They can't win without Steph.
Kevin Durant contributed 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while JaVale McGee, plugged into the starting lineup, added 15 points plus a pair of blocks. Having shouldered the offensive load for the entire season with Leonard out of the picture, power forward LaMarcus Aldridge struggled, scoring 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting.
This season, the Warriors ranked No. 9 in the National Basketball Association in defensive rating, which computes points allowed per possession, after finishing in the top-3 during each of the previous four seasons.Head coach Steve Kerr reiterated the team's poor defense after recent losses.
The Warriors looked unbeatable again. And that was without the do-everything Curry. Golden State collected a hefty 51-30 advantage on the glass to help overcome 15 turnovers in the contest. The Warriors have plans for nothing short of a repeat title.
"We're a championship ball-club".
"We know what it takes this time of year in order to win", Draymond Green said Saturday. I think a lot of people tend to forget what we're capable of.
Golden State dictated the terms of engagement with the Spurs from the opening tip. "To re-establish our defense, which has been subpar. But he's making good progress". So you have to be able to count on that foundation, and I thought our defense was great, and that set the tone. "That is the reason we're a championship team". Iggy spread his limbs all over the floor, guarding bigs and smalls, switching on the screen and generally being a pest to the other team, as he generally is this time of year.
He made sure of that, by inserting Iguodala, his best all-around defender, into the starting lineup and also using McGee extensively instead of Zaza Pachulia.
Asked if this was a statement game, Iguodala (four points, seven rebounds, four assists) said, "Well, we're in the playoffs".
The Warriors now lead the series 1-0, and while Gregg Popovich will make adjustments, it's hard to imagine what he could do with the players at his disposal that would change the outcome of this series with the way the Warriors have dialed in.
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