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 Young stars bolster Spurs in Game 5 win over Warriors

استعرض الموضوع السابق استعرض الموضوع التالي اذهب الى الأسفل 
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عدد المساهمات : 1
تاريخ التسجيل : 15/05/2013

مُساهمةموضوع: Young stars bolster Spurs in Game 5 win over Warriors   الأربعاء مايو 15, 2013 6:02 am

Sam Amick, USA TODAY Sports1:52 a.m. EDT May 15, 2013
051413-leonard-spurs-warriors-5




(Photo: Brett Davis, USA TODAY Sports)

SAN ANTONIO – Manu Ginobili was in fifth gear again, dribbling to his sweet spot on the right wing and pulling up for the kind of nail-in-the-coffin 3-pointer that his wondrous career was built on.

Not brick by brick, of course, but make by make.

This one was good like all those others had been, the fourth-quarter clock reading 4:02 and his San Antonio Spurs taking an 18-point lead over the Golden State Warriors that was more than enough in their 109-91 win at the AT&T Center. Yet while the Spurs took a 3-2 series lead in the Western Conference Semifinals, they did it despite the startling lack of moments like these that we've all grown so accustomed to.

BOX SCORE: Spurs 109, Warriors 91

PLAYOFF SCHEDULE: Games and times

Tim Duncan was mediocre – again – finishing with 14 points and 11 rebounds. So was Ginobili, who had hit just two shots leading up to his late-game deal-sealer. Tony Parker had 25 points and 10 assists, battling through his bruised left calf to offer quite a contribution. But they don't call trios like these The Big One Third, and so it proved to be more true now than ever that these Spurs are about so much more than the guys who have been here since Kawhi Leonard was a toddler.

The 21-year-old who came San Antonio's way in a draft-night trade two years ago was everything his elder co-workers were not, hitting seven of eight shots for 17 points while adding seven rebounds. Guard Danny Green didn't wilt either, the 25-year-old scoring 17 points while helping hold Warriors guard Stephen Curry to a nine-point outing (4 of 14 shooting) that had everything to do with his ailing left ankle that has robbed him of so much speed and spark.

It was balance like that which kept the Warriors from heading home for Game 6 with all the momentum they craved, but the Harrison Barnes show wasn't enough for them to win for just the second time here in the Duncan era (Game 2 of this series being the first). Barnes' 25 points (10 of 18 shooting) were far more impressive than the 26 points he had in Game 4 (9 of 26).

The Warriors only trailed by three at halftime because of Barnes (15 points) and Jarrett Jack (nine of his 20 points in the first half). But this load was too heavy for them to carry, what with Warriors guard Klay Thompson offering just four points (two of eight shooting) and Curry looking nothing like the playoff MVP he had been just a few games ago.

"I was terrible, plain and simple," Curry said. "They outplayed us as a team. Individually I didn't have anything on either end. (I was) a step slow, my shot wasn't falling...I was trying to make plays, but defensively I lost a little focus. I personally have to be better."

If the Spurs were going to give this win a name for the video file, it would be 'The 50-50 game.' They did everything they hadn't in Game 4, grabbing the loose balls and the boards and the like. Their favorite stat was recited all around: the Warriors being held to just seven offensive rebounds after nabbing 19 in Game 4.

"We definitely went harder," Ginobili said. "That is a huge difference between the 19 offensive rebounds that they grabbed in Game 4 to seven today. We were more aggressive. We played with more determination. We knew it was a big key."

The Spurs' sense of relief that was so palpable afterward said everything about the way they see these Warriors. Coach Gregg Popovich talked about the need to always "stay on your toes as far as being tenacious (and) staying physical." Ginobili referred to them as "a skilled opponent." Inside a backroom tunnel just minutes after the win, San Antonio assistant Mike Budenholzer shared half-hugs and backslaps with another staff member on his way out while saying with an ear-to-ear grin, "We're alive!"

The Spurs have come to respect the Warriors - perhaps even fear them. But the bottom line of this matchup that was never supposed to be so compelling is this: the fear factor is the Warriors' devil to dance with now. Thompson has gone from being half of what Warriors coach Mark Jackson deemed the best shooting backcourt of all-time to half the player he was in Game 1 (19 points) and Game 2 (34 points), and this was a new low for the second-year player.

The signs of stress were everywhere: the airballed jumper from the right elbow early in the second quarter that left him pounding his chest in frustration; the missed layup not long after had him muttering to himself and mimicking the motion he had failed to complete. Thompson, who shot 51.2% through the first two games, has now missed 27 of his last 41 shots (34.1%) while seeing his scoring plummet at every turn - 17 points, 10 points, and now four.

PHOTOS: SPURS-WARRIORS SERIES

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Young stars bolster Spurs in Game 5 win over Warriors
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