The Golden State Warriors were merciless and efficient during Game 2. Defeating the San Antonio Spurs by a 136-100 score, the Warriors took full advantage of Kawhi Leonard’s absence (left ankle injury) and essentially ran San Antonio out of the gym.
The score was 33-16 after the first quarter. Golden State followed this effort with at least 30 points in every remaining quarter. For the game, the Warriors shot 56 percent from the field and 49 percent from deep. San Antonio went 37 percent from the field and 35 percent on triples. The Warriors had 16 turnovers compared to 18 by the Spurs.
In this dominant effort, it was Stephen Curry who was especially stellar. The back-to-back MVP totaled 29 points in 31 minutes, going 8-13 from the field and 6-9 on threes. Kevin Durant had 16 points on 6-10 shooting. Playing 27 minutes due to Andre Iguodala’s absence, rookie Patrick McCaw shined with 18 points and 5 assists.
For the Spurs, the showing was hugely disappointing. A loss without Leonard could be expected, a low energy display shouldn’t have been the case, however. Gregg Popovich basically said as much during his postgame press conference.
Particularly disappointing for the Spurs was the performance of LaMarcus Aldridge. He went 4-11 for 8 points. The only starter to score in double-figures for San Antonio was Jonathon Simmons who posted 22. The Spurs took exactly 100 shots to reach 100 points, and that number alone reveals how massively their efficiency was lacking.
The main injury note from Game 2 was Zaza Pachulia suffering a heal injury after landing on a dunk. Also worth noting would be Aldridge essentially doing to Durant exactly what Pachulia did to Leonard. This link shows the play, and while Durant deflected any animosity towards Aldridge when asked about it postgame, it will be interesting to see if Popovich has any rant in store. He hated it when it happened to his team, but how about when his team is committing the play?
In an attempt to be objective (I am, after all, a lifelong Warriors fan, hence my annual GSW playoff recaps), I would say that what both Pachulia and Aldridge did was reckless, but fairly common and not dirty. Pachulia shouldn’t be scapegoated as the only player who commits such an action. While it’s unfortunate that Leonard’s already injured ankle was further injured, it’s a play that the Spurs themselves and countless other teams have committed during these playoffs. I would like to see less of this play occur, but what especially bothers me is blaming solely one person for a fairly common NBA action.
Until Game 3, we wait. That will go down Saturday, 5/20 at 9:00 PM ET.