Guaranteed to finish 10th and therefore to compete in the “play-in”, the Spurs put people to rest: in addition to Dejounte Murray, injured for several days, Keldon Johnson, Jakob Poeltl and Devin Vassell are not in uniform. On the Warriors side, the strategy is the same since the advantage of the field in the playoffs is assured, and Klay Thompson is put to rest.
After a laborious first quarter on both sides (38.5% on shots for San Antonio, 40% for Golden State), it was the Warriors who first moved up a gear. Under the impetus of an excellent duo Jonathan Kuminga – Nemanja Bjelica (22 points in total) off the bench, the “Dubs” give themselves a little air at halftime (54-44) after a second quarter – successful time offensively (10/17). Unlike the Spurs, still struggling (5/19).
After the break, San Antonio finally comes out of its lethargy in attack. Coming off the bench, Lonnie Walker IV gained momentum during the third quarter and supported the five major Spurs, valiant and brilliantly managed by Tre Jones. The gap is gradually narrowing and the Spurs even return to -1 (85-84) in the “money-time”, under the impetus of Tyus Jones’ little brother, but also of an amazing Josh Primo.
Only, without Dejounte Murray to calm the game in hot moments, the Spurs chained two possessions which led to nothing in attack, while the Warriors, through Jordan Poole then Andrew Wiggins, ensured easy points on the line free throws. Despite an irreproachable attitude and a comeback that made the Warriors doubt, Gregg Popoivich’s men bowed with honors for their last of the season at home.
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– No “Splash Brothers”, no outside address. In the absence of snipers Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the Warriors were harmless behind the arc: they finished at 8/32! It’s a 25% success all round, and it’s very little for a team that relies so much on this weapon. In the playoffs, such clumsiness will not forgive. But in the playoffs, the “Splash Brothers” will be there.
– The fate of the Spurs season will be decided in New Orleans. Because this victory of the Warriors freezes and formalizes the final classification of the Western Conference. The Spurs finish 10th and will challenge the Pelicans, 9th, in Louisiana, as part of the “play-in”. As a reminder, the winner of this match will play a second match against the loser of the meeting between the Wolves and the Clippers, respectively 7th and 8th in the Western Conference.
✅ Jonathan Kuminga. In just 22 minutes off the bench, the talented Warriors winger compiled 18 points (6/8), 4 rebounds, 2 assists and 2 steals. Always 110% on the field, he gives himself without counting, and in sequence, he leaves absolutely speechless.
✅ Draymond Green. The mainstay of the Warriors is still him. Despite the passing seasons, the importance of the strong winger in the franchise system is still as high as ever. Close to the triple-double (12 points, 13 rebounds, 8 assists), the best defender of the year in 2017 left his mark on the meeting, with incessant activity in all areas. With a Draymond Green at this level in early April, the Warriors can approach the playoffs calmly.
✅ Lonnie Walker IV. Great performance from the Spurs scorer, who planted 24 points (8/15) in 28 minutes off the bench. His heat stroke in the third quarter revived San Antonio, and initiated a comeback almost successful in the “money-time”.
✅ Tre Jones. Like his big brother Tyus when he replaced Ja Morant in the Grizzlies’ major five, Tre Jones rarely disappoints when he replaces Dejounte Murray at the Spurs’ lead. The former Dukie signed a sober but effective match (15 points and 7 assists).
✅⛔️ Jordan Poole. A mixed feeling around the game of the wisp of the Warriors, which ends with 18 points (all registered in the second half), including two decisive free throws late in the game, 6 rebounds and 8 assists. His first half was completely missed, and he lacked lucidity on several possessions in attack (3/19, 1/11 at three-pointers).
San Antonio (34-47): “back-to-back” and end of regular season in Dallas
Golden State (52-29): same with the Pelicans