Playing on the back end of a back-to-back against the hottest team in the NBA proved to be a lethal combination for the Warriors in Wednesday’s 111-90 loss in San Antonio. The Dubs fell behind big early and played with a double-digit deficit for the majority of the game. Marreese Speights had a team-high 22 points off the bench, Jordan Crawford had 16 points and Klay Thompson tallied 15 on a night that saw the Warriors play without the services of Andrew Bogut, Andre Iguodala and David Lee. The Warriors will now have a much needed day off before returning to action on Friday when they host the Kings.
On the Spurs:
“They’re a great basketball team. (They’re) the best team in basketball right now for a reason. Another job well done (by the Spurs), individually and collectively. I give them a lot of credit.”
On Jermaine O'Neal's status:
“He’s fine. He could’ve played. We’re just being smart.”
On Marreese Speights and Jamal Crawford's performances:
“They impacted the game off the bench. Jordan (helped) by scoring the basketball, Marreese by scoring, rebounding and defending. Hilton (Armstrong) gave us great minutes. I thought it was an excellent effort from us across the board. Never mind the fact that we’re shorthanded. Coming off of a big win last night, we battled. We competed. We lost to a very good basketball team. Now we get some rest and be prepared for the next stretch.”
On his postgame exchange with Gregg Popovich:
“I’ve just got a tremendous amount of respect for him. He’s been great. He’s an all-time great coach, not just in basketball but in (all) sports. I was just letting him know of my respect and appreciation and wishing him the best moving forward.”
On tonight's game:
“We knew the task that was in front of us, with the way they have been playing, obviously. With the lineup we had tonight we had to fight, and I think the energy and effort was there all game long, just came up a little short. I like the way we played. It’s going to take a lot to beat those guys, we knew that coming in, but to split the road trip and have three home games in a row, we’re looking forward to that.”
On the start of the second half:
“It felt like a couple of stops and we could get over the hump. They came out blazing in the first three minutes of the third quarter, and that was tough to overcome. They got their rhythm and their confidence up right out of the gate, so in order to get that many stops you really have to force them out of what they do, and that was tough to do tonight when we needed to get over the hump.”
On the Warriors playing with injuries:
“It’s similar to what we had last year in the playoffs, a guy goes down and a guy has to step up, so that’s how we approach every game. The energy and effort was there, and for the most part we executed, we didn’t make a lot of shots, but executed what we needed to. They’re playing amazing right now. Best team in the league right now, so kudos to them.”
On the Spurs:
“Just the way they move the ball, it seems like they’re always on the attack. They force you to make decisions on both ends of the floor, so it’s always a reminder that we can take it to another level.”
On playing the back-to-back:
“We have a lot of guys out. A lot of people doubted us since the Memphis game and we came out and split it, and feel like we’re in a good situation. We’ve got these home games coming up, so we just have to worry about those.”
On making the most of his playing time:
“Just keep going out there and playing hard. Coach keeps giving me a chance, and I’m just trying to make the best out of it. Coach is a good coach and he finds guys and gets the best out of them.”
TEXAS, TAKE TWO
After a thrilling overtime victory over the Mavericks in Dallas on Tuesday night, the Warriors head to San Antonio to take on the Spurs in their second road game in as many nights. This will be the fourth and final matchup between the two teams this season, with San Antonio having won all three previous contests so far. Two of those games were decided by only two points, however, and one would expect their fourth encounter to be a close contest as well.
LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors came away with a huge road victory on Tuesday night, defeating the Dallas Mavericks 122-120 in overtime. Stephen Curry hit the go-ahead jumper with 0.1 seconds left on the clock, as the Dubs came back from a nine-point halftime deficit with their sixth game-winner of the year. Aside from the game-winner, Curry was terrific with 23 points and 10 assists. Fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 27 points to go with five rebounds and five assists. The victory pushes the Warriors record to 46-28. They’ll look to build on the momentum when they take on the Spurs in San Antonio on Wednesday. GAME RECAP
This is what superstars do. The Warriors desperately needed a win in Dallas on Tuesday, and with David Lee and Andrew Bogut both out due to injury, the Dubs needed Curry to step up. Well, step up he did. Despite getting the ball in his hands with nearly 10 seconds on the clock, Curry wound it all the way down, guaranteeing that at the very worse the game would go to a second overtime. But, he did them one better, sinking a fall-back jumper to propel the Warriors to a crucial road victory against one of their direct competitors for playoff positioning. Sure, it was his third game-winner this year, so we should be used to this by now. But with each clutch shot, Curry continues to show that he has not reached his pinnacle yet. That’s a wonderful thing for the Warriors, and a terrifying one for anybody they’re facing.
WHATEVER IT TAKES
With only eight games remaining on the schedule, there’s no time left for making excuses. Of course, Mark Jackson & Co. have not done so all season, nor will they now. Despite the odds being stacked against them with their top two big men out due to injury, the Warriors must do anything and everything they can to come away with as many victories as possible down the back stretch. Tuesday’s win does give them the smallest bit of breathing room, but as we’ve seen, take one breath too big, and suddenly you’re on the outside looking in. Whether it’s being shorthanded or facing a premiere opponent, the mandate remains the same: do whatever it takes. No victory is ever easy, but if they can just do that night-in and night-out, they stand a good chance at reaching their second consecutive postseason.
SAN ANTONIO SCOUTING REPORT
For a group that has been as successful for as long as Gregg Popovich, Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobli have been together, you’d think there wouldn’t be any records left to break. Well, you thought wrong. The Spurs are currently riding an 18-game win streak, the longest of that group’s era, and don’t appear to be slowing down anytime soon. Their margin of victory throughout the streak has done nothing but solidify their reputation as one of, if not the very best teams in the entire league, and one of the most likely contenders for the NBA Championship. The recipe is the same it has always been. Run a methodical offense through the trio of future Hall-of-Famers with some timely shooting mixed in, while defending at an incredibly high level. The Warriors know as well as anybody after falling to the Spurs in the second round of last year’s playoffs, and don’t think they’ve forgotten. After losing the first three games to the Spurs this year, albeit all in close fashion, expect the Dubs to give everything they have to claim a victory of their own.
GSW: David Lee (strained right hamstring) is doubtful. Andrew Bogut (pelvic contusion) is not with the team. Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery) is out. Nemanja Nedovic and Ogjnen Kuzmic are on assignment with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the D-League.
SAS: Matt Bonner (right calf strain) is out.
SAS: Matt Bonner (right calf strain) is out.