Spurs Win Battle Of The Benches
- Updated: March 12, 2017
Saturdays game between the league’s two best teams was missing something. Actually, it was missing a lot.
Golden State and San Antonio played each other with its reserves, sucking out much of the games anticipation on the part of fans. But it’s health for the playoffs that these teams want at the end of the day.
In a matchup of the leagues best teams playing without their star players, the San Antonio Spurs proved to have more than enough, defeating the Golden State Warriors 107-85 on Saturday night, moving to within half a game for the leagues best record. ‘It’s a win we’re going to accept and keep, but wasn’t a fair fight,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. ”They’re Golden State. Their top four or five players weren’t there, if anybody didn’t notice. We’re supposed to win a basketball game like that.”
The Warriors, who have now lost five out of seven, played without Kevin Durant, who was already out with a knee injury. But in addition to that, played without Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, and Andre Iguadola, sitting out for rest. The Spurs played without Tony Parker(back stiffness)and Kawhi Leonard(concussion), but also learned that Lamarcus Aldridge would be out indefinitely after he underwent a minor heart arrhythmia.
The Spurs, at least for Saturday, didn’t need them.
Patty Mills set the tone by scoring all 21 of his points in the first half in helping San Antonio take a 64-44 halftime lead, overcoming several Warriors runs along the way. ”The aggressive mindset needs to be there no matter who’s on the court and who’s not,” Mills said.
The Spurs also hit 12 three pointers in beating the Warriors by 20+ for the second time this year. They also won the season series with Golden State, giving them the head to head tiebreaker regardless of what happens in their final meeting on March 29th.
”I was disappointed in the defense in the first half,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said, whose team has now lost 34 of its last 35 regular season games in San Antonio.
After Golden State took a 5-4 lead, San Antonio, led by Mills, went on an 18-6 run to take a 22-11 lead. The Spurs also avoided a repeat of a March 2013 home loss to league best Miami, who rested Lebron James and Dwyane Wade, but still beat the Spurs 88-86. This time, there would be no such drama.