SAN ANTONIO -- Coming into AT&T Center with a 2-0 series lead, the Warriors will try to take complete command Saturday night when they meet the Spurs for Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals.
For the Spurs, it’s desperation time. And they will be without their best player, as All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard was ruled out Saturday morning.
The hope for the Spurs is that being on their home court will make a difference, and therefore allow them to put some intrigue into the series.
Warriors by 8.5
MATCHUP TO WATCH
JaVale McGee & Co. vs. LaMarcus Aldridge: Aldridge, a five-time All-Star, will have to play well for the Spurs to have a real chance without Leonard. With Zaza Pachulia defending Leonard in Game 2, he played poorly and afterward was called out by San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich. With Pachulia out, expect Aldridge to be more aggressive on offense. The Warriors likely will start McGee, but Aldridge surely will see others at times, including Draymond Green, David West and Kevin Durant.
Warriors: G Andre Iguodala (L knee soreness) was listed as probable and will play. C Zaza Pachulia (R heel contusion) and F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) are listed as out.
Spurs: F Kawhi Leonard (L ankle sprain) and G Tony Parker (L quadriceps tendon rupture) are listed as out.
ROAD TO THE CONFERENCE FINALS
The Warriors finished the regular season with a 67-15 record to earn the No. 1 overall seed in the postseason. They swept four games from Portland in the first round, and then swept four games from Utah in the conference semifinals.
The Spurs (61-21) earned the No. 2 overall seed. They defeated Memphis in six games in the first round, and then defeated Houston in six games in the conference semifinals.
Prior to winning Games 1 and 2, the Warriors lost two of three to San Antonio in the regular season. In the three seasons since Steve Kerr took over as coach, the Warriors are 6-5 against the Spurs. The teams last met in the playoffs in the 2012-13 conference semifinals, with San Antonio winning in six games.
THREE THINGS TO WATCH
DESPERATION FACTOR: The Spurs are a proud bunch with a long tradition of excellence. Yet they find themselves down 0-2 to a Warriors team favored to win the championship. With help from the crowd, can San Antonio summon the energy and production required to stay with the Warriors? Will the Warriors, sensing weakness, let up or attack without mercy?
THE GLASS WARS: Though it has not translated to success, the Spurs have feasted on the offensive glass, grabbing 36 rebounds through the first two games. The Warriors realize this could be a problem at some point. Kevin Durant (seven rebounds in two games) vows to be better. He may have to be.
HOME COOKING: The Spurs are formidable at home, 31-10 in regular season. Only the Warriors (36-5) were better at home. San Antonio and its zealous fan base would like a return to the old days. The Warriors lost 33 consecutive regular-season games before snapping that streak in April 2016 and have won two of the last three games at AT&T.