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By the fourth quarter, it was a blowout, but Spurs fans still could appreciate the fact that end of the bench players were able to get some playoff experience and show their talent.
The Spurs are reeling after squandering a 25-point lead to lose the best-of-seven Western Conference final opener 113-111, top scorer Leonard going out in the process, and then being routed 136-100 by the Warriors in game two Tuesday. It also leaves them as the (at least geographically) most local team to follow as well, which is good since they are healthy and deep, and also plenty rested thanks to an nearly week long gap between games for them.
The 36-point Warriors' win is second to a 39-point victory for Philadelphia at St. Louis on April 6, 1948.
When Popovich opened the news conference with a crack to a local reporter about the wines produced in his area, it seemed he might take the lighthearted route. "You don't want to give them any reason and any life".
Zaza Pachulia goes up for a block.
The Spurs were without Kawhi Leonard (injured ankle, may play in the next game) and Tony Parker (suffered season-ending injury in the semifinals) in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals vs. the Warriors on Tuesday night. All three former National Basketball Association players took media questions earlier this week in separate conference calls, that included the MSR. To go with that, he had five assists and three rebounds to finish as a plus-19. But because Pachulia doesn't rise up much, the rare exertion apparently hurt the big man. He'll get an MRI on Wednesday. Here's everything you need to know including Spurs vs. Warriors Game 2 live stream with the ESPN, WatchESPN app and more. Everyone else, the Spurs coach had said, was in the other category. "Kawhi being gone, I don't think as I watched".
I asked Green, who had 13 points, 9 rebounds and 8 assists, if he sensed that the Spurs didn't believe they could win this one.
"You have to believe", Popovich said. I don't think as a group they really did, which means probably a little bit feeling sorry for themselves psychologically. He said: 'How do you know?' I said there's a police escort with motorcycles in front of them.
But they know better than to get caught up in that type of thinking with a critical Game 3 in San Antonio looming. He had eight points on 4-for-11 shooting and was a minus-20 in 26 minutes of play. We're exiting the off-ramp and I tell my son - because my son loves coach Pop, known coach Pop for a long time - I said Cam, the Spurs are behind us. "He can't be timid".
The second quarter was nearly a repeat of the first. He can't do it. Even so, our defense could even promote the tempo that we wanted to get to. Scoring has to come from someplace. He is questionable for Game 3.
At the same time, Steph Curry was uncorking his second straight monster game.
Kevin Durant added 16 points for the Warriors, who had assists on 30 of their first 38 baskets while building a huge lead. The next closest player: Boston's Isaiah Thomas, who has 34 made 3s in 13 playoff games.
"It's the playoff. You've got to expect everything", Curry said.
But Curry wasn't alone.
"We blew a great opportunity in Game 1, and it was turnovers", Popovich said.
Since the moment Leonard limped off the court with an arm around head athletic trainer Will Sevening with 7:54 remaining in the third quarter of Game 1, the Spurs have been outscored 194-133 by the Warriors.
Warriors reserve Patrick McCaw took advantage of 27 minutes of playing time to chip in with 18 points.