Game 2 Preview: Warriors vs. Spurs – 5/16/17

GAME TWO-SDAY
After completing a 25-point comeback victory to take Game 1 on Sunday, the Warriors host the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals on Tuesday night. This will be the second and final game at Oracle Arena before the series transitions to San Antonio for Games 3 and 4. Tipoff is scheduled for 6:00 p.m. Watch the action on ESPN, or listen to the call on 95.7 The Game on the Warriors Radio Network.

LAST TIME OUT
Stephen Curry had 40 points and Kevin Durant had 34 as the Dubs came back from a 25-point deficit to take Game 1, 113-111. Full Recap

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE
Playoff Ranks

GSW
1-0
1st in West
115.0 PPG (1st)
46.0 RPG (2nd)
26.8 APG (2nd)

SAS

0-1
2nd in West
106.9 PPG (6th)
44.2 RPG (4th)
20.4 APG (8th)

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PROJECTED STARTERS

GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia

SAS: Patty Mills, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES

GSW: Andre Iguodala (left knee soreness) is questionable. Kevon Looney (left hip strain) is out. Team Notes

SAS: Kawhi Leonard (sprained left ankle) is questionable. Tony Parker (ruptured left quadriceps tendon) is out. Team Notes

BAD HABITS
The Warriors have split their last four games against the Spurs going back to the very first game of the 2016-17 season, but they’ve dug themselves a deep hole in each and every one of them. Golden State has trailed by as many as 29, 28, 22 and 25 points in those four contests, and yet still managed to prevail in the most recent two. While the Dubs will take those last two outcomes, they could stand to improve in the process it took to get there. San Antonio is simply too strong and steady to expect to consistently be able to come back from severe double-digit deficits against them, and by falling behind by such a large amount in the early going, the Warriors have really put themselves behind the eight ball in those games. Granted, they clearly have the grit and firepower necessary to come all the way back from those deficits, but in general, their chances at victory are greatly improved when not allowing the opponent to open up such a significant gap. Chances are the Warriors will need to prevent the Spurs from replicating such a large lead in Game 2 if they hope to defend their home court once more.

TEAM PLAYOFF LEADERS

GSW
PTS: Curry (28.6)
REB: Green (8.9)
AST: Green (7.2)

SAS

PTS: Leonard (27.7)
REB: Aldridge (8.0)
AST: Leonard (4.6)

BALANCED ATTACK
Both Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant were exceptional in Game 1, and they had to be in order for the Warriors to complete their historic second half comeback. Curry and Durant led all scorers with 40 and 34 points, respectively, and combined for 46 points in that decisive second half. Their 74 combined points were the most by any Warriors duo in a playoff game since Sleepy Floyd scored 51 (including a playoff-record 29 in the fourth quarter) and Joe Barry Carroll added 23 in a second-round win over the Lakers in 1987. But despite Curry and Durant’s heroics, the game still came down to the last minute, in part because most other Warriors struggled offensively in the contest. No other player on the roster had more than four points at halftime, and Zaza Pachulia (11) was the only other Warrior to reach double-digits in the game. While Curry and Durant are both former league MVPs for good reason, they can’t be reasonably expected to put forth that type of performance on a nightly basis, and in the situations they don’t, contributions from throughout the roster will prove more necessary. Particularly against a stellar defensive team like the Spurs, a more balanced scoring attack will make Golden State that much tougher to defend.

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