The Golden State Warriors’ biggest weapon on Monday in Game 2 against the San Antonio Spurs was not a player, but rather a period of time.
The reigning NBA champs entered the second game of their first-round series +371 in the third quarter alone this season. Naturally, it was that quarter when the Warriors compensated for a sluggish first half to thoroughly inject life into the crowd at Oracle Arena, going +11 and setting the table in the second half en route to a 116-101 win.
While the Dubs still had the Spurs nipping at their heels with a mere five-point lead entering the fourth, those 12 minutes post-adjustment period was the first breath of fresh air after the Warriors were caught off guard in the first 24 minutes.
The Spurs in the first half were able to force 11 turnovers to the two they committed and wound up shooting better than 50 percent on their two-point attempts. Playing better in transition defensively and clamping down in the Warriors’ half court sets, San Antonio after looking lost in Game 1 had a 53-47 lead entering the half this time around.
And in the blink of an eye as they’ve done all season, the third quarter heroes got out to a 14-3 run to regain the momentum.
If you recall, back when the Warriors lost Steph Curry in late March early on against the same Spurs, it was Kevin Durant — the biggest tangible weapon in Golden State’s arsenal right now — who took over late.
Like clockwork, he towed the third quarter outburst, pouring in 11 of the team’s 33 points over that stretch and finishing with a team-high 32.
The poor Spurs had seemed so outmatched in Game 1, anyone that had picked them as a potential upset let alone to win a game this series perhaps felt foolish. And just as San Antonio had emptied the tank defensively and in the paint in the first half, they couldn’t weather the storm when it came to Golden State’s time to shine — the third quarter, which has been the Warriors best friend time and time again.
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