Warriors-Spurs Preview

Even a day later, the San Antonio Spurs still found it difficult

to explain how they won the opener of their second-round series

against Golden State.

The Spurs overcame Stephen Curry’s 44 points and became the

first team in postseason history to rally from a 16-point deficit

with 4 minutes remaining and earned a 129-127 victory in double

overtime on Monday.

Game 2 is Wednesday night in San Antonio.

”I don’t know how we managed to tie the game,” Manu Ginobili

said Tuesday. ”We had some really big shots before regulation, in

the first overtime and second overtime. It got us the win, but not

sure if we deserved it.”

After missing seven straight shots, Ginobili hit a game-winning

3-pointer with 1.2 seconds remaining to hand Golden State its 30th

straight loss in San Antonio going back to Feb. 14, 1997.

It was a thrilling game, but one the Spurs are eager to push

aside.

”Forget about it; it is over,” San Antonio coach Gregg

Popovich said. ”You can enjoy it for a short period of time, but

now all that matters is the next game.”

Popovich wants the Spurs to move on because he knows the

Warriors can get over a tough loss.

Golden State won three straight in the opening round after

dropping the series opener to Denver.

Overcoming that loss to the Nuggets gave the young Warriors a

boost in confidence, as did Monday’s loss.

”We were the better basketball team for the most part of that

game,” Golden State coach Mark Jackson said. ”Now we did some

things that we’ve got to do better, but we’ve got to leave that

game feeling good about where we are.”

The Warriors feel especially good about Curry’s performance.

The guard had 44 points, including 22 in the third quarter. He

also had 11 assists.

Curry shot 9 for 12 in the third and was 4 for 6 on 3-pointers.

At one point in the third quarter, he lost his dribble, calmly

scooped up the ball and made a jumper from the top of the key in

one fluid motion that exasperated Tony Parker.

Limiting Curry’s production in Game 2 is key to San Antonio

preserving its home-court advantage.

”We’d like to figure out how to hold Curry below 40,” Popovich

said. ”I’ve got like 10 phone calls out for people asking for

suggestions. He’s unbelievable, unbelievable. He’s something to

watch.

”Obviously, we’ll try to see if we can figure out some way to

limit him a little bit. It’s pretty obvious that’s a god

idea.”

The Spurs held Curry to six points following the third quarter

after giving the defensive assignment to Kawhi Leonard, who is

6-foot-7.

”Kawhi did a good job of just running me off the 3-point line

and funneling me to help and relying on that second line of defense

to step up,” Curry said. ”There are certain plays where I looked

at the film and I could have attacked a different angle or on

different spots on the floor and still got my jumper off against

Kawhi. I’ll make my adjustments there.”

The Spurs also benefited from Klay Thompson fouling out.

Thompson had 19 points and five rebounds while defending Parker

for much of the game. Parker had 16 points in the fourth quarter

and two overtimes.

”The fact that Thompson was out of the game helped a little bit

(defensively against Curry), too,” the Spurs’ Boris Diaw said.

”That’s more help, more shift, but we tried different things. He’s

a great player, he’s tough to stop. I think he got tired too

because it was a long game, but we had to try different things,

tried to help a little more at the end of the game.”

Curry said while his legs felt a little heavy at the end of

regulation, he actually felt stronger in the overtimes.

Slowing Curry helped the Spurs close regulation on an 18-2 run

to force overtime, despite losing Tim Duncan for much of the final

stretch to a stomach bug.

Duncan left the game with 3 minutes left in regulation and only

played the final seconds of each overtime.

Duncan said he was feeling better Tuesday morning.

”I was in the locker room watching it as we were getting closer

and closer,” Duncan said. ”I debated whether even coming back out

there. Whatever superstition or whatever it may be, I wanted to

stay right where I was. It felt bad coming out there and they get a

lead again, but was just great to see everything going the way we

wanted it go.”

Ginobili’s game-winning 3-pointer came 43.7 seconds after he

took an ill-advised 3 that appeared to cost the Spurs the game when

Kent Bazemore’s reverse layup gave the Warriors a 127-126 advantage

with 3.9 seconds left.

”I went from wanting to trade him on the spot to wanting to

cook breakfast for him tomorrow morning,” Popovich said.