Inside the Victory: Spurs 99, Warriors 90 (Spurs clinch playoff berth, win 13 straight)

With 10:16 minutes left in the fourth quarter on Saturday in Oakland, the San Antonio Spurs were holding onto a 76-74 lead. Danny Green would knock down two 3-pointers in the next few minutes to help the Spurs put together an 11-0 run, as San Antonio would take a 13-point lead on the Golden State Warriors with 7:35 minutes left in the game, to eventually hold on for the 99-90 win. Tony Parker (20 points) led a group of five Spurs players who scored in double-figures to the victory on a back-to-back night, while the team was without Tim Duncan (rest), Manu Ginobili (rest), and Matt Bonner (right calf sprain). Here were a few keys to the Spurs’ 13th win in a row.

Despite another rough shooting night, the machine keeps rolling

On a night when Kawhi Leonard, Boris Diaw, and Patty Mills combined to shoot 8-of-37 from the floor, the Spurs still had five players score in double-figures. Along with Parker scoring 20 points and collecting five assists, Green scored 18 points, Tiago Splitter scored 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, Leonard scored 16 points and grabbed seven rebounds, and Marco Belinelli provided 15 points off the bench.

The Spurs as a team shot 39% from the floor and 36% from three, but it was their ball movement and cutting that still allowed them to get some uncontested looks. Seven players touched the ball 40 or more times in the game, as San Antonio shot 49 contested looks and 42 uncontested looks. Despite only tallying 24 assists, the Spurs managed to assist on 69% of their made shots. The Spurs also threw 127 more passes than the Warriors.

Green in particular was responsible for half of the team’s made 3-pointers, as he shot 5-of-8 from deep on the night. Leonard and Belinelli also made two 3-pointers each in the win. Turnovers were one of the main issues why the Spurs couldn’t maintain their double-digit lead in the second quarter, but the team was able to take care of the ball in the second half as San Antonio finished with 14 turnovers total on the night.

For the Warriors, they needed Stephen Curry (20 points), Klay Thompson (16 points), and David Lee (13 points) to provide a majority of the scoring for their offense. Check out how the Spurs were able to count on different players in each quarter (5 points or more).

1Q: Parker 8 points, Green/Splitter/Leonard 5 points each

2Q: Splitter 6 points

3Q: Belinelli 9 points, Splitter 7 points

4Q: Green 9 points, Leonard 7 points

Check out one of Leonard’s seven rebounds just before the end of the half. He almost jumped as high as the top of the square mark on the backboard and palmed the ball with his left hand midair.

Spurs hold ‘explosive’ Warriors from being ‘explosive’

22, 25, 22, 21 – Those numbers represent how much the Warriors scored in each quarter against the Spurs’ defense. Along with holding Golden State to just eight transition points, the Spurs’ defense also forced the Warriors to shoot 40% from the floor and 3-of-15 from 3-point range. Of the Warriors’ 77 shots, 49 were contested and just 29 were uncontested. The Spurs also forced Golden State to turn the ball over 18 times.

Curry, Thompson, and Lee combined for 49 points on the night, but they shot a combined 17-of-40 from the floor for those 49 points. With Parker/Mills, Leonard/Green, and Diaw/Splitter guarding the Warriors’ trio a majority of night, 31 of the Warriors trio’s 40 shots were contested looks. The Warriors were playing without Andre Iguodala.

A look into the 13-game winning streak

During their 13-game winning streak, the Spurs are beating teams by an average of 15.2 points per game. The Spurs are scoring 111.5 points, shooting 48.6% from the field, 42.9% from three, collecting 28.6 assists, and only turning the ball over 13.8 times per game. Defensively, they’re holding teams to 96.2 points per game during the streak.

The Spurs are ranked second in Offensive Rating with 111.8 points per 100 possessions and ranked first in Defensive Rating by holding teams to 97.8 points per 100 possessions during the streak.

Spurs clinch a playoff berth

With the victory, the Spurs became the first team from the Western Conference to clinch a playoff berth. The team has now made the playoffs 17 consecutive seasons in a row.

Where San Antonio Stands

  • Regular Season: 53-16 (Lead the NBA)
  • Road Record: 27-8 (Lead the NBA)
  • Vs. Opponents with +.500 records: 24-14 (Lead the NBA)
  • Vs. The Western Conference: 31-10 (Lead the Western Conference)
  • Post All-Star Break Record: 15-1 (Lead the NBA)
  • Since Kawhi Leonard returned from injury: 13-0
  • The Spurs are 11-0 in the month of March.
  • The Spurs are 22-0 when Tiago Splitter scores in double-figures.

(All Stats and Player Tracking data via NBA.com)

Paul Garcia

About Paul Garcia

Paul is a San Antonio Spurs credentialed media member for Project Spurs. He covered the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, TX, and the 2013 and 2014 NBA Finals. Paul has been featured on WOAI, Fox 29, and numerous nationwide radio shows.

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