Sport Spurs aim to bounce back in Game 2 vs. Warriors

23:21  16 april  2018
23:21  16 april  2018 Source:   FOXSports

Kawhi Leonard injury update: Spurs star ruled out for Game 1 vs. Warriors

  Kawhi Leonard injury update: Spurs star ruled out for Game 1 vs. Warriors The Spurs star hasn't played since Jan. 13 as he recovers from quadricep tendinopathy. He's played in only nine games all season. © (Getty Images) Kawhi Leonard Leonard has reportedly been near a return several times this season, only to push back the timetable. That saga has led to rumors of tension between Leonard and Spurs management and teammates, and led to speculation that the All-Star wants out ot San Antonio.

But with their postseason quest toward a fourth consecutive Finals appearance, and potentially their third championship in four years, beginning Saturday during Game 1 of their first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs , Warriors coach Steve Kerr said their poor play over the last month was tied

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a basketball player in front of a crowd © Cary Edmondson

OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs are both hoping that history repeats itself when they meet in Game 2 of the Western Conference playoffs on Monday night.

The second-seeded Warriors thumped the seventh-seeded Spurs 113-92 in the series opener on Saturday afternoon, putting both teams in a familiar position.

Golden State used a home win in Game 1 as a springboard to a four-game sweep of the Spurs in the Western Conference finals last season.

San Antonio, meanwhile, was drubbed 126-99 in Game 1 of the Western semifinals by the Houston Rockets last May, only to turn things around immediately with an equally decisive 121-96 blitz in Game 2 en route to an eventual six-game victory in the series.

Kawhi Leonard injury update: Spurs star ruled out for Game 1 vs. Warriors

  Kawhi Leonard injury update: Spurs star ruled out for Game 1 vs. Warriors The Spurs star hasn't played since Jan. 13 as he recovers from quadricep tendinopathy. He's played in only nine games all season. © (Getty Images) Kawhi Leonard Leonard has reportedly been near a return several times this season, only to push back the timetable. That saga has led to rumors of tension between Leonard and Spurs management and teammates, and led to speculation that the All-Star wants out ot San Antonio.

Watch video highlights of the Golden State Warriors vs . San Antonio Spurs basketball game . Legler: Kerr 'can trust anybody he has on his roster' ( 2 :08). Tim Legler breaks down the Warriors slow offensive attack to start the game and their ability to bounce back in San Antonio.

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“We’ve got to regroup, feel hurt, upset, kind of desperate,” Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili said after Saturday’s shellacking. “We don’t want to go home 0-2. So we’ll fight as hard as we can in Game 2.”

After leading the NBA in scoring during a 58-win regular season, the Warriors focused on defense in Game 1 of the postseason. Coach Steve Kerr moved super-sub Andre Iguodala into the starting lineup in an attempt to give the game a defensive tone from the start.

It worked. The Spurs shot just 35 percent in the first quarter and were held to 17 points, falling behind by as many as 14 points.

“The whole point of these games early in the series is to re-establish our defense,” Kerr explained. “You can’t win in this league in the playoffs unless you defend.”

NBA playoffs 2018: Gregg Popovich says Spurs "looked like a deer in headlights" in Game 1 loss to Warriors

  NBA playoffs 2018: Gregg Popovich says Spurs The Spurs lost to the Warriors, 113-92, in a game that was never really close.“We looked like deer in the headlights,” Popovich said. “I thought we were prepared mentally and physically, but I was mistaken.

This criticism isn't quite fair yet, as the Warriors still haven't accomplished the goal of locking up home court advantage (not to mention the fact that the Dubs did rest starters back in December). It's not like they had a ten game buffer ahead of the Spurs .

Thompson, Durant lead Warriors past injury-riddled Spurs . Klay Thompson makes 23-foot step back jumpshot (Stephen Curry assists). Golden State WarriorsWarriorsGS. 110. Game 2 . Final. San Antonio SpursSpursSA.

The Spurs finished the game at 40.0 percent from the field. The Warriors held five opponents below 100 in the playoffs last season, and won all five of those games.

The Golden State defense was especially problematic to San Antonio star LaMarcus Aldridge, who was held to 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting.

Coincidentally, Aldridge also shot 5 of 12 in the Spurs’ regular-season finale against New Orleans, a loss that dropped San Antonio into the undesirable first-round matchup with the defending champs.

Aldridge averaged 23.1 points and 18.0 shots from the field during the regular season.

JaVale McGee had the defensive assignment on Aldridge at the start of the game and actually outscored him 9-4 in the Warriors’ first-quarter runaway.

Kerr declared afterward that McGee also would get the start in Game 2, but Spurs coach Gregg Popovich wasn’t committing to anything on his end.

Kerr switched to Pau Gasol at center in the Spurs’ turnaround against the Rockets last season, a move he also could make Monday, with the veteran having come off the bench in Game 1.

Popovich made it clear after Saturday’s loss that no one player was more responsible for the Game 1 embarrassment than any other.

“The first quarter, we looked like a deer in the headlights. Very disappointing,” he said. “I thought we were very prepared physically and mentally, but I was mistaken. That was the game right there.”

The series will shift to San Antonio for Games 3 and 4 on Thursday and next Sunday.

Spurs aim to bounce back in Game 2 vs. Warriors .
Spurs aim to bounce back in Game 2 vs. WarriorsOAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors and San Antonio Spurs are both hoping that history repeats itself when they meet in Game 2 of the Western Conference playoffs on Monday night.

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