OAKLAND -- To the surprise of no one, including the Warriors, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich responded to being routed in Game 1 by altering his starting lineup for Game 2 on Monday night.
Veteran Rudy Gay, started only six times in the regular season, will replace Kyle Anderson at power forward.
“Not that Kyle did anything wrong,” Popovich said 90 minutes before tipoff at Oracle Arena. “It’s just something we’re going to do.”
This will be the sixth different San Antonio starting lineup that the Warriors have seen in six games, counting four in the regular season.
Gay came off the bench in Game 1 and led the Spurs in scoring with 15 points in 22 minutes in a 113-92 loss. He averaged 11.5 points and 21.6 minutes during the regular season, with season-high of 22 points, accomplished twice.
“We need to score,” Popovich said. “We always harp about defense -- and (the Warriors) are hard to guard -- but we need to score.”
Gay likely will defend Kevin Durant on end -- Danny Green drew the bulk of that assignment in Game 1 -- while trying to team with center LaMarcus Aldridge to generate offense through pick-and-roll or pick-and-pop actions.
SAN ANTONIO -- The Warriors are one win away from advancing to the Western Conference Semifinals, and if they get there the New Orleans Pelicans will be waiting.
The Pelicans on Saturday became the first NBA team advance this postseason when they completed a sweep of Portland with a 131-123 win in Game 4 in New Orleans.
New Orleans entered the postseason as a No. 6 seed, while the Trail Blazers were the 3-seed and had earned homecourt advantage.
The Warriors have a 3-0 series lead over the San Antonio Spurs. The teams meet in Game 4 Sunday afternoon.
Should the Warriors close out the series, they would open against the Pelicans next weekend at Oracle Arena.
SAN ANTONIO -- Stephen Curry returned to practice Saturday, but there will be no miracle Sunday when the Warriors meet the Spurs in Game 4 of their first-round series.
“He’s coming along well,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “But don’t expect him to be Willis Reed tomorrow.”
The Willis Reed reference dates back to the 1970 NBA Finals, when the Knicks center came limping onto the court for Game 7, despite a torn muscle in his right thigh, provided an emotional lift that gave New York the victory.
Curry has missed the last four weeks with an MCL sprain in his left knee. The Warriors were pleased to have him back on the court for non-contact drills. He completed those drills along with his teammates, without any sign of a setback.
“From his movements, he looked good to me,” Kevin Durant said.
“He was really shooting the ball well and moving around well,” assistant coach Ron Adams said. “I don’t know how he’s feeling internally, but I like his attitude about this. He’s positive and upbeat and it rubs off on the other guys.”
Curry is scheduled to be re-evaluated next weekend, after which his status will be updated.
Though both Shaun Livingston and Durant rolled their left ankles in Game 3, participated in practice. Durant is not on the injury report and Livingston is listed as probable.