Spurs knock off Warriors after Draymond Green's ejection
The Dubs remain in the third seed...for now.
The Golden State Warriors were stunned at home in a 110-108 loss to the struggling San Antonio Spurs. This was the first contest the Warriors had without their leader Stephen Curry who will miss most of the final games of the regular season (if not all) with a foot injury.
This defeat pushed GSW 1.5 games back behind the Memphis Grizzlies for the second seed in the West. Currently the Dubs are only 2 games ahead of the Utah Jazz for the three seed.
Here’s two things that I found pretty cool from last night’s game, and two things that I did NOT find cool from the contest.
#1 Poole and Thompson carry the scoring load
With face of the franchise Curry out, all eyes were on how third-year guard Jordan Poole would mesh alongside the returned Splash Bro Klay Thompson. One game into this experiment, I’m pleased with how they meshed.
Thompson played 38 minutes, which according to Stathead is the Sea Captain’s most minutes on the court since returning from ACL and Achilles’ injuries. In light of the James Wiseman knee trouble, Dub Nation can be especially grateful that Thompson is back out there able to put that much strain on his body without having a setback. He scored 24 points on 9-of-22 shooting from the field, going 6-of-12 from beyond the arc.
He also ditched his new headband and hit some big shots afterward.
Poole was the high scoring man on the night, putting up 28 points and looking like a legitimate number one option.
#2 Golden State’s bench came to play
Nemanja Bjelica has been under fire from Dub Nation for uninspiring play; going through any DNHQ comment thread after a loss will usually supply plenty of Bjelica criticism. But he was a major factor in Golden State’s positive efforts last night, tallying 9 points, 9 rebounds, and 6 assists in 25 minutes off of the bench.
Rookie Jonathan Kuminga led the team in plus/minus with +11 and added 9 points of his own. It was surreal watching him casually overpower Dejounte Murray on a postup and bully his way to the rim for an easy two. PLAYING LIKE A BIG MAN.
Speaking of playing like a big man, how about Otto Porter Jr. grabbing a career high 16 rebounds(!) to go along with 16 points?? OPJ’s 29 minutes kept the Warriors in striking distance when the Spurs pushed their lead to 14. I can’t wait to see the #3 overall pick from the 2013 draft do his thing for GSW in the playoffs; his game will carry over no doubt.
NOT COOL THINGS
#1 Andrew Wiggins and free throw scenarios
Look we all know All-Star Wiggs hasn’t been amazing from the free throw line this year. He’s shooting 63% there on the season currently, a downturn from his career 72% rate from the charity stripe. So when he took the line with three seconds to go in a tie-game, I’m sure Dub Nation was a little nervous.
Wiggins sank the first one to give the Dubs a 108-107 lead…and then missed the second one with 2.4 seconds left. That led to crucial sequence where the Spurs rebounded the miss and Kevon Looney was called for a questionable fall that sent the Spurs to the line for free throws on the other end.
That led to Jakob Poeltl making a free throw to tie the game at 108-all. Which led to this unfortunate sequence to effectively decide the game:
WIGGINS ALMOST HAD THAT REBOUND…drats. If All-Star Wiggs hits his freethrows or seals off his man in that last possession, we may be looking at a different outcome. Oh well.
#2 Draymond Green and the refs
Speaking of weird calls, the Warriors were already in a quandry after Draymond Green was ejected from two quick techs in the third quarter.
We’ve spent a lot of time in this space at DNHQ discussing how potent the Warriors are with their Big 3 and how frustrating it is when there’s only two of them available. Wellp, it was even worse when both Curry AND Green weren’t on the floor.
Apparently Marat Kogut, the ref who ejected Green, has a history of infuriating the Dubs going back to the Kevin Durant days.
Timberwolves remaining schedule:
3/23- vs. Suns
3/25- vs. Mavericks
3/27- @ Celtics
3/30- @ Raptors
4/1- @ Nuggets
4/3- @ Rockets
4/5- vs. Wizards
4/7- vs. Spurs
4/10- vs. Bulls
Nuggets remaining schedule:
3/22- vs. Clippers
3/24- vs. Suns
3/26- vs. Thunder
3/28- @ Hornets
3/30- @ Pacers
4/1- vs. Timberwolves
4/3- @ Lakers
4/5- vs. Spurs
4/7- vs. Grizzlies
4/10- vs. Lakers