Warriors take home solid report card after Game 5 win
Grading Game 5, series win
OAKLAND -- As they prepared to meet San Antonio in a first-round playoff series, we identified five keys for the Warriors to win in five games or fewer. After each game, we assess how they grade out on those factors.
Here are the grades for Game 5, a 99-91 win Tuesday night Sunday at Oracle Arena.
Draymond Green got back to being himself, limiting his turnovers (one, down from five in Game 4), dishing a team-high seven assists, making timely shots, including a pair of free throws to clinch the victory. Moreover, after a snagging a career-playoff-high 18 rebounds in Game 4, he upped it with 19 in the closeout game. Green was, coach as Steve Kerr said during his postgame news conference, “tremendous.”
The Warriors brought it full for about 85 percent of the series, and the same could be said of Game 5. They took command in the second quarter, holding the Spurs to 30-percent shooting from the field and limiting them to 33.3 percent through three quarters. Taking a 14-point lead into the fourth quarter, the Warriors relaxed and let San Antonio back into the game. The Spurs shot 50 percent in the fourth, getting within two (93-91) with 57.2 seconds remaining before the Warriors closed by forcing a turnover and three misses.
Klay Thompson was an offensive machine through the first three quarters, taking smart shots and scoring 19 points while going 9-of-14 from the floor, before tailing off in the fourth (2-of-8). Though his 3-point shot was subpar (1-of-5), he finished 11-of-22 overall, numbers the Warriors will take that every night of week. He also came up with five rebounds and four assists. On the whole, he did a very good job.
Coming off a Game 4 in which turnovers were their undoing, it was evident the Warriors would not be repeating such dreadful execution. They committed seven through three quarters and 10 overall. More to the point, they limited live-ball giveaways so effectively the Spurs scored only 7 points off turnovers and totaled precisely 0 fast-break points. It’s unreasonable to expect better than that.
The folks inside Oracle were hungry early and the Warriors fed them quickly, getting off to a 9-0 start that catapulted them into leads as much as 16. There were some anxious moments at the end, though, and the anxiety made its way through the capacity crowd, went quiet with worry before the Warriors closed it out with a Kevin Durant jumper, two Durant free throws and two more free throws by Green. Solid overall, but this building has another level, maybe two.
The Warriors terrific early in the series but seemed to get comfortable in the knowledge that a series win was imminent. They played well enough to put away a Spurs team without its best player and without its coach for the last three games. They’ll have to be better in the next round.