For two- and- a- half quarters of their game one Western Conference Finals matchup in Golden State, the San Antonio Spurs dominated the Warriors.
Twelve Warriors were fielded and seven wound up with double-figure scores, with Curry delivering 29 points on 8 of 13 shooting. Golden State Warriors' Stephen Curry, left, dribbles past San Antonio Spurs' Pau Gasol during the first half of Game 2 of the NBA basketball Western Conference finals, Tuesday, May 16, 2017, in Oakland, Calif.
"They didn't start the game with belief".
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich lambasted Pachulia, deeming the close-out "dangerous" and "unsportsmanlike". All five Golden State starters scored within the opening six minutes, whereas Jonathan Simmons -who started in place of the injured Kawhi Leonard -was single-handedly responsible for eight of the Spurs' first 10 points.
Klay Thompson finished with 11 points, but was 4-of-10 from shooting with six rebounds, while Shaun Livingston and Ian Clark each had 10 points for Golden State to secure its 10th consecutive playoffs win this season.
Leonard missed the rest of the game and Golden State's comeback, then he missed the Game 2 blowout loss and may miss Game 3.
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Leonard was held out after he re-injured his left ankle Sunday.
Popovich had no guess about Leonard's status for Game 3, saying it would likely be decided as late as Friday or Saturday. Most teams are fighting the Warriors with one hand tied behind their back, but lose their only superstar and they become this guy. Warriors coach Mike Brown had a run-in with the police escorting the Spurs team bus while entering the Oracle Arena parking lot, an incident witnessed by Popovich. They'll need their entire roster to step their game up a notch if they want to defeat the star-studded Warriors at "Roaracle". The Warriors now lead the series 2-0, which will transition to San Antonio for the next two games beginning with Game 3 on Saturday night. We know they're a little undermanned but they still play extremely hard, so we knew we couldn't come out here and relax and think they were just going to give us the game. "I'm disappointed", Popovich said. Eventually a reporter asked him if he was angry that the Spurs were in the position they're in.
Without Leonard in Game 2, the Warriors outshot the Spurs from the field, 56.2 percent to 37 percent.
Two trips later - after swarming Warriors defense forced the Spurs into an errant Danny Green 59-foot heave at the end of the shot clock - Draymond Green nailed an open 3 from the top of the key to make it 5-0.
"I don't think he needed to hear it, but just knowing that we all have his back is huge, especially at this juncture with the spotlight and the microscope that everybody's put on him", Curry said. And you have to believe. They shouldn't expect things to just be easy when they get there.
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