SAN ANTONIO -- The Illinois Boys don’t do flash or dash. They don’t do much thrilling or spilling, either.
They do reliable.
Andre Iguodala and Shaun Livingston do smooth hoops. They are seasoned veterans that do what it takes to make the game easier for their teammates, and the Warriors are the beneficiaries.
Both were on their games Thursday night, providing the insulation within a 110-97 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of their first-round series.
While Kevin Durant was leading the team and scoring and rebounding, and Draymond Green was leading in assists and blocks, and Kevon Looney was leading in steals, Iguodala and Livington were leading forces in making sure things stayed tight and together.
“It’s kind of funny how we trade off,” said Iguodala, from Springfield, Ill.
“We flip and flop,” said Livingston, from Peoria.
Iguodala played 27 minutes and made 4-of-9 shots from the field, Livingston played 20 minutes and made 4-of-9 from the field.
They combined for 26 points, 16 for Livingston and 10 for Iguodala. They combined for seven rebound and five assists. Iguodala was plus-12, Livingston plus-7.
Most important, they combined for one turnover.
On a night when the death of Erin Popovich, the wife of Spurs coach Gregg Popovich, was in the minds of all inside AT&T Center, the Warriors needed Iguodala and Livingston to be their usual steady selves.
“To have that veteran leadership in the locker room, I think it’s great,” Draymond Green said. “It was a perfect setup for a letdown . . . but we still wanted to come out and try to win the game. Having that veteran leadership to try to put that to the side, no matter what, knowing that they were going to come out on an emotional high.”
Green didn’t mention Iguodala or Livingston by name. He didn’t have to.
They are team leaders and calming influences in the locker room and on the court. And each does it quietly and without pomp.
Iguodala is 34, in his 14th season, drafted ninth overall in 2004 from the University of Arizona. Livingston is 32, in his 14th season, drafted fourth overall, out of Peoria Central High School.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, by design, wants one of them on the court at all times.
They swapped in the first quarter, Livingston for Iguodala. They swapped in the second quarter, Iguodala for Livingston. They swapped in the third, Livingston for Iguodala and again in the fourth, Iguodala for Livingston.
“We just let the game come to us,” Livingston said.
Maybe that’s why the work they do seems so smooth and almost quiet.