Instant Replay: Warriors rout Spurs for No. 70, clinch No. 1 seed


Instant Replay: Warriors rout Spurs for No. 70, clinch No. 1 seed


OAKLAND – In defense of their NBA championship, the Warriors opened the regular season with a singular goal, which was earning the No.1 seed entering the playoffs.

Done, in perhaps the most emphatic way that could be imagined.

The Warriors’ 112-101 scorching of San Antonio on Thursday night assures them of having the best record in the league this season. Running their record to 70-9, they also became only the second team to win 70 games in a season.

Four Warriors scored in double figures, led by Stephen Curry, who totaled 27 points. Harrison Barnes tossed in 21, Draymond Green had 18 and Klay Thompson added 14 as the Warriors remained in contention to win a record 73 games.

The Spurs (65-13) have been the only team close to breathing the same rarified air as the Warriors this season. Moreover, they are considered the biggest threat to a back-to-back championship.

Yet the Warriors this season have beaten them twice by double digits at Oracle Arena, the first a 120-90 rout on Jan. 25.

Though the Warriors continued their recent bad habit of committing costly turnovers (16, leading to 26 San Antonio points), they offset that with 12-of-25 3-point shooting and a 43-32 rebounding advantage.

Kawhi Leonard scored 23 points to lead the Spurs, who played all of their regulars.

All five starters played well, with Green, Barnes and Curry leading the way.

Green’s line: 18 points (7-of-12 from the field, 2-of-3 beyond the arc), seven assists, six rebounds assists and a steal. He played 34 minutes and was plus-17 for the game.

Barnes’ line: season-high-tying 21 points (8-of-13, 3-of-7) and eight rebounds. He played 33 minutes and was plus-10.

Curry’s line: 27 points (11-of-19, 3-of-7), nine assists, five rebounds and two steals. He played 37 minutes, finishing plus-14.

After a Tim Duncan basket tied the game at 15-15 with 2:03 left in the first quarter, the Warriors reeled off a 14-0 run spanning the end of the first quarter and beginning of the second taking a 29-15 lead with 9:38 left in the half.

The Warriors held San Antonio to 0-of-8 shooting during the stretch, while also forcing a turnover.

The Spurs got as close as six (46-40, 59.9 seconds left in the second quarter) before the Warriors pulled away in the second half. San Antonio never got within single digits after halftime.

Warriors: F Kevon Looney (R hip inflammation) was listed as out. F James Michael McAdoo was a healthy inactive.

Spurs: F Boris Diaw (R adductor soreness) was listed as out. C Boban Marjanovic was a healthy inactive.

The Warriors return to action Saturday, when they face the Grizzlies at FedEx Forum in Memphis. Tipoff is scheduled for 5:10 p.m. PDT.

Andrew Wiggins-Steph Curry duo's potential shown in Warriors NBA 2K sim

Andrew Wiggins-Steph Curry duo's potential shown in Warriors NBA 2K sim

Editor’s note: With the NBA season halted over coronavirus concerns, Warriors fans have unanswered questions about the team and how it’s building toward the future. To provide answers, NBC Sports Bay Area will simulate some previously scheduled Warriors games through NBA 2K, mixing video-game results with real-life insights for our coverage team.

Even amid the NBA season suspension due to the global coronavirus pandemic, Andrew Wiggins enters the spring as the Warriors' biggest question mark.

A former No. 1 overall draft pick, Wiggins' potential drops jaws, while his inconsistency is head-scratching. Upon arrival, the Warriors believed his ability would bode well alongside Steph Curry and the team's culture.

In a simulation of the March 28 game against the Oklahoma City Thunder using NBA 2K20, Wiggins showed promise towards that goal in a 117-110 loss.

In the digital confines, Wiggins finished with 35 points, getting most of his buckets within the flow of the Warriors' motion offense.

"I think he really fits well," Draymond Green said of Wiggins last month. "As seamless as it could possibly be, I think he can fit right in. He can score the basketball, he can run the wings, he's a pretty good defender. So I think he'll definitely fit in with this core for a long time."

Similar performances weren't as consistent during Wiggins' first four seasons in Minnesota. Wiggins didn't live up to the expectations that come with being a franchise player. His offensive inconsistency quickly drew the ire of NBA observers. Worse, Wiggins became one of the worst defenders in the league, even after he signed a five-year, $145 million contract.

Nonetheless, the Warriors saw potential in the 25-year old, trading former All-Star point guard D'Angelo Russell, along with Jacob Evans and Omari Spellman, in part to pair Wiggins with Curry. In the 2K simulation, the pairing worked, as the tandem combined for 62 points on the night.

The performance was consistent with Wiggins' lone real-world game alongside the former MVP. Against the Raptors back on March 5, the duo combined for 44 points in Curry's return from a broken left hand.

Curry's first highlight against the Raptors came with the help of his Canadian teammate, when he took a dribble in the lane, drew a double-team and fired a behind the back pass to Wiggins in the lane, leading to an easy layup, surprising Wiggins in the process.

"I didn't even know it was coming, really," Wiggins admitted after the loss to the Raptors. "I was kind of watching like it may come, but then when he went behind the back I was just trying to catch it. It was a hell of a pass."

"I'm very excited," Wiggins added. "He's an MVP player, one of the greats. He helped transition the game with his 3s and how fast he plays. So, I'm excited."

[RELATED: How Steph perform in Warriors-Hawks sim]

Wiggins' virtual performance Saturday coincided with his strong play during his short stint in the Bay Area. In his last five games, he averaged 20 points on 46 percent shooting from the field. If Wiggins continues to build on his current play, the Warriors will see the potential they've wanted all along, making for an intriguing process Wiggins says he's ready for.

"I feel like I've adjusted well," Wiggins told NBC Sports Bay Area earlier in March. "I've never played with anyone as good as him. By far, he's the best player that I've played with. Just getting a chance to learn from him and feeding off him and just learning."

Watch every Steph Curry 3-pointer with Warriors from 30 feet and beyond

Watch every Steph Curry 3-pointer with Warriors from 30 feet and beyond

Today is the 30th day in March.

Warriors superstar Steph Curry wears No. 30.

Obviously, that means you should watch every single 3-pointer the two-time NBA MVP has made in his career from 30 feet and beyond.

Thank you to our friends at the Warriors for making this possible:

You watched all 87, right? What's your favorite?

Is it the famous 37-footer against the Oklahoma City Thunder on Feb. 27, 2016? What about the 62-footer he swished at the end of the third quarter in Game 6 of the 2015 Western Conference semifinals against the Memphis Grizzlies?

[RELATED: What separates Steph Curry as favorite among all Bay Area MVP athletes]

There just are so many incredible ones to choose from.

Now go spend 10 more minutes watching all 87 again ...

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