On Thursday night, Spurs coach Gregg Popovich again held his older stars out on TNT. Tim Duncan, Manu Ginobili and Tony Parker (shin contusion) sat on the sidelines, the Spurs’ second unit stole a victory against the Warriors at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Tiago Splitter tipped-in a missed Boris Diaw layup and the Spurs hung on for the 104-102 victory.
In the loss, Stephen Curry tied a career-high with 15 assists to go with 30 points, on some J.R. Smith-ian 6-of-16 shooting from three-point range. But his dazzling handle was on full display in this dribble-drive dish to David Lee.
But it was the three-point shooting of Marco Bellinelli in the second half (28 points overall on 10-of-16 shooting), the steady production of Kawhi Leonard (21 points and 10 rebounds), and the all-around brilliance of Boris Diaw that led San Antonio to the win.
Diaw, especially, made a number of big plays down the stretch. While Charles Barkley and Shaquille O’Neal joked on “Inside the NBA” about Diaw’s “BMW — Body Made Wrong” — alluding to his rather overt pudginess — Diaw came up with a late block-from-behind on Curry that may have saved the Spurs win.
With under two minutes remaining, and the Spurs clinging to a one-point lead, 100-99, Bellinelli lost the ball to Curry, which started a sprint the other way. While Curry had an open Klay Thompson filling the lane on the opposite side, he elected to take it himself on a reverse layup attempt. Diaw stuffed it against the backboard, and the ball went the other way.
After some crafty interior passing from Splitter to Diaw led to a dunk and a 102-99 Spurs lead, Curry hit a huge three-pointer to tie the score at 102. But Splitter’s tip-in with just a couple seconds on the clock put the Spurs up two again, and after throwing a ton of bodies at Curry on the other end, they escaped Oracle with a big win over the Warriors minus their aging stars.
What did you think of the Spurs’ big win?
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