Grading Warriors' Game 2 win vs Spurs on five keys to victory
Giving out Game 2 grades
OAKLAND -- As they prepared to meet San Antonio in a first-round playoff series, we identified 5 Keys for the Warriors to win in five games or fewer. After each game, we will assess how they grade out on those factors.
Here are the grades for Game 2, a 116-101 victory Monday at Oracle Arena.
Perhaps because he picked up two fouls in the first two minutes, Draymond Green didn’t quite reach the frenzied levels of Game 1, when at times he was a one-man gang and fell two rebounds short of a triple-double. He wasted energy going after officials in a rough first half. He was a more focused player in the second half, posting a plus-21 while punishing the Spurs at both ends.
After approaching perfection during most of Game 1, the Warrior fell back to merely excellent in Game 2. They at times had difficulty containing a more aggressive LaMarcus Aldridge (34 points, 12 rebounds), who carried the Spurs and kept them in the game for much of the second. The Warriors limited San Antonio to 41.2-percent shooting from the field, including 31.8 percent in the pivotal third quarter.
After a scintillating Game 1, Thompson came out more aggressive in Game 2 and it didn’t work to his advantage early. He rushed a few shots in the first half and at one point appeared to be trying to throw himself a pass off the backboard while in traffic. He found his stride late, scoring 16 fourth-quarter points on 6-of-7 shooting (2-of-3 from deep) and was fabulous in the role of closer.
They failed miserably in the first half, committing 11 giveaways that led directly to 12 Spurs points and was a major factor in San Antonio’s 53-47 halftime lead. They flipped the script in the second half, committing only four turnovers, off which the Spurs managed 6 points. The two-turnover third quarter was a thing of beauty and pulled their grade up to average. A repeat of the first half in Game 3 could be costly.
The sellout crowd in the first half was loudest not when cheering the Warriors but when booing the officials, who generally were mediocre. Not until Kevin Durant started snapping the nets in the third quarter and Thompson in the fourth did they truly come alive.