Earlier in the season, San Antonio Spurs center Pau Gasol said if his team was fully healthy, they could be capable of beating any team in the league.
Thursday night in Oakland saw the Silver and Black as healthy as they’ve been all season, giving the Stephen Curry-less Golden State Warriors (51-14) a run for their money, before ultimately falling 110-107 at Oracle Arena.
The contest kicked off a three-game road trip for San Antonio, which sees them take on two of the best teams in the league. The Spurs played without Pau Gasol and Kawhi Leonard, both missing the game with injuries.
The loss brings San Antonio down to the fifth seed in a packed Western Conference, now sitting a game and a half behind the New Orleans Pelicans for the fourth seed.
Here is what went good and bad for the Spurs, as well as three standout players: LaMarcus Aldridge, Dejounte Murray, and Davis Bertans.
- Despite being without Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs gave the defending NBA champions all they could handle. San Antonio raced out a 7-2 lead as the Warriors went just 1-for–14 to start the game. The Spurs outscored Golden State in the second and third quarters by 11 and five points respectively.
- Dejounte Murray and Davis Bertans took another step towards growth. Despite the loss, it is games like this that shape someone’s career.
- Even on a poor shooting night, LaMarcus Aldridge was his usual aggressive self.
- Kyle Anderson had a quiet game on the offensive end, finishing with 12 points and 11 rebounds.
- Once again, the Spurs found a way to lose a lead late in the game. Up 101-93 with 4:35 to go in regulation, Golden State went on a 14-2 run to close the game and squeak out the victory.
- Despite Anderson having a solid night offensively, he struggled defensively. San Antonio had no answer for Kevin Durant, who scored 14 consecutive points to fuel the Warriors. Durant would finish with a game-high 37 points. It makes you wonder why the Spurs’ defense did not try to force the ball out of the MVP candidates hands.
- Even though Murray and Bertans are two of the game’s standout players, you can’t hide their mistakes. Murray had two huge blunders down the stretch which fueled Golden State’s run. Meanwhile, Bertans fouled Durant on the three-point line with San Antonio up eight earlier in the third quarter.
Three Standout Players:
Aldridge finished with 30 points on 11-of-20 shooting to go along with 17 rebounds. He played to his strengths as he went up against reigning Defensive Player of the Year Draymond Green and JaVale McGee. Although he struggled against McGee, he found a way to get his teammates involved, finishing with four assists.
However, despite the solid stat line – Murray still had mistakes. He had three turnovers on the night with two of those coming in the fourth quarter. With the Spurs up four, he would drive the lane instead of passing the ball out. It will take time, but Murray will be better as games go on.
With Gasol out, Bertnas got the start. He would score 13 points and went 3-for-9 from three-point range. He stayed aggressive on the offensive end and found his sweet spots on the floor. Another solid night for a young player.
The Spurs are now 37-28 on the season and will return to the court on Saturday when they take on the Oklahoma City Thunder (38-29) at 7:30 p.m. to continue their three-game Road Trip.