Three Standout Players in Spurs’ loss to Warriors

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Photo courtesy: NBA.com

SAN ANTONIO – Despite a hot first quarter, the San Antonio Spurs fell 112-92 to the Golden State Warriors at the AT&T Center on Thursday night.

The loss was the fourth straight for San Antonio, who have not won since October 25 in Miami. The Spurs had their best first quarter of the season, leading by as many as 18, and were on top by five at halftime.

Golden State’s offense was too much in the second half for the Silver and Black, who were missing MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard. Here is what went good and bad, as well as three standout players for the Spurs: LaMarcus Aldridge, Kyle Anderson, and Pau Gasol.

The Good:

  • The Spurs started the game well, shooting 65 percent from three-point range. San Antonio led 31-13 midway through the first quarter and up by nine at the end of the opening period.
  • LaMarcus Aldridge had a solid night, despite shooting 36 percent. He fought his way through double teams as Golden State sent Draymond Green and Javale McGee at the Spurs forward.

The Bad:

  • San Antonio’s bench struggled all night long, with no one from the second unit getting in double figures. The Spurs’ bench had just 27 points compared to 20 for Golden State.
  • The Spurs shot 7-of-24 (29 percent) from three point range, a recipe for disaster against the offensively superior Warriors shooting.

Three Standout Players:

   LaMarcus Aldridge: The Spurs forward continued to be the main source of the Spurs offense on Thursday night, posting 24 points and 10 rebounds in the loss. Aldridge fought his way through double teams of Draymond Green and Javale McGee. He drew a foul on Green in the third quarter and stayed aggressive all night long.

That is a massive improvement for the 32-year-old, who disappeared last season during San Antonio’s Western Conference Finals run. This is a positive sign for Spurs fans, who can only imagine how the game would have gone on Thursday if a healthy Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker were on the floor.

 Kyle Anderson: With Leonard out, Kyle Anderson continues to get the start in his place. The fourth year forward had a decent game with 16 points and seven rebounds. Anderson constantly showed no fear going up against Golden State’s Green or Kevin Durant, driving the ball to the paint and fighting for rebounds.

Despite the loss, Head Coach Gregg Popovich can see this as an encouraging sign for his team. Anderson showing the aggression and toughness will only make the Spurs that much more dangerous when they face the Warriors with a fully healthy squad.

   Pau Gasol: The veteran center had a solid game for San Antonio, finishing with 11 points and six rebounds. Gasol had a three from the corner in the first quarter, contributing to the Spurs solid start. With Popovich going with Patty Mills as a starter over Dejounte Murray, it sparked San Antonio’s starters.

Up next: The Spurs are now 4-4 on the season and will return to the court tomorrow night for a rare home-and-home back to back against the Charlotte Hornets at 7:30 p.m. at the AT&T Center.

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