Spurs fall to Warriors in battle of NBA's top teams

SAN ANTONIO, TX - MARCH 29: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors shoots the ball against the San Antonio Spurs during the game on March 29, 2017 at AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.

The last time these two teams met a few weeks ago, the Warriors benched all their starters against the Spurs.

In terms of individual performances, the veteran leaders of the team, Andre Iguodala and David West, stepped up in a major way, along with critical contributions from the Splash Brothers.

San Antonio was held to 24 points or less in each of the final three quarters and to 41 percent shooting for the game.

"I thought the Spurs' defense was fantastic in the first quarter", Kerr said.

In New York, Goran Dragic had 20 points, nine assists and seven rebounds, and Miami breezed past the Knicks. It was déjà vu for a Warriors squad that was pounded in the previous two meetings this season, and they easily could've packed it up and gone home on the second night of a grueling back-to-back.

Those same partisans were stunned to silence by what happened after that, as the Spurs seemed unable to stop the Warriors. Science says they should rest their stars, though the NBA is staunchly against doing so on a national stage.

Better because David West, who spent the first two quarters of the season acclimating to his new teammates and the third on the injury list, has settled in and turned up his fire and production to a level that pleads for more playing time. He made big bucket after big bucket including the dagger, game-sealing three-pointer with less than a minute left in the fourth quarter.

Furthermore, Golden State is already a team that lacks legitimate size (JaVale McGee and Zaza Pachulia, really?), and is now set to be without their leading rebounder, shot-blocker and scorer.

San Antonio Spurs: PG - Tony Parker, SG - Danny Green, SF - Kawhi Leonard, PF - LaMarcus Aldridge, C - Pau Gasol.

On the other side of the court, Durant doesn't require the offense to be run through him - it often did at the beginning of the season, just because he's Kevin Durant and giving him the ball is nearly always great offense.

Warriors: Golden State forward Kevin Durant worked out on the court before the game, but remains sidelined by an injured left knee. Golden State has seven winning streaks of at least seven games in three seasons under Kerr.

Injuries: The Spurs are without rookie point guard Dejounte Murray (left groin injury). On the plus side, the April 5 matchup against the Phoenix Suns is the only road game remaining on the schedule.

Notable: At 57-16, the Spurs have equaled the second-best record in franchise history through 73 games. Ian Clark and Klay Thompson helped as well.

"I don't ever want him to retire", Popovich said, smiling.

The NBA concurred with the New York Knicks' doctors that Noah can resume playing after undergoing left knee surgery February 27.

  • Julie Sanders