The San Antonio Spurs went into Game 2 against the Golden State Warriors knowing their chances at evening the series were slim to none.
And that lack of hope may have been the culprit as the series gets ready to shift back to Texas.
Stephen Curry had 29 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as the Warriors blew out the Spurs 136-100 in Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals series on Tuesday night inside Oracle Arena.
Kevin Durant added 16 points and Draymond Green chipped in 13 for the Warriors, who remain undefeated in the playoffs with just 10 games played.
Golden State led from the opening tip, jumping out to a early 12 point lead. San Antonio never led as the Warriors built their lead as high as 32.
”That’s just been the message all year, just play with urgency and start the game off with some energy and throw the first punch,” Durant said. ”Unlike Game 1 we did that tonight. We know they’re a little undermanned but they still play extremely hard, so we knew we couldn’t come out here and relax and think they were just going to give us the game. We had to go take it.”
San Antonio was led by Jonathon Simmons 22 points, but he was the lone starter to reach double figures. Davis Bertans was the only other Spur to reach it with just 13 points, coming in a rout in the final quarter.
The Spurs were without Kawhi Leonard after he re-injured his left ankle twice in Game 1 of the series, his status for Game 3 and beyond is currently up in the air – possibly with the Spurs’ hopes of winning the series.
And coach Gregg Popovich realizes hope and belief may be part of the reason for the walloping his team took.
“It’s not what I expected,” he said of the loss. “I’m disappointed. The only way I can process this is, I think it’s not about O’s and X’s or rebounds or turnovers or anything like that. I think we’ve maybe felt it too much, Kawhi being gone, in the sense that I don’t think — as I watched — I don’t think they believed.”
The Silver and Black better find some hope and belief quick or this series will be quick.
Up next: The Spurs now trail the best-of-seven series 0-2 and will return to the court for Game 3 on Saturday night at the AT&T Center at 8 p.m.