The Warriors started the contest with the latter.
The San Antonio Spurs are not going home just yet, while the Cleveland Cavaliers drew level in the National Basketball Association playoffs on Sunday. "Once you join the game, you're really focused on thinking about what you have to do and how to try to keep up with these guys, so that's what I was concentrating on".
BC-BKN-Warriors-Spurs, 1st Ld-Writethru, 888Ginobili, Aldridge help Spurs beat Warriors to avoid sweepAP Photo TXDA103, TXDA112, TXDA113, TXDA109, TXDA104Eds: Spurs 103, Warriors 90.
The Spurs trail the Warriors 3-1 in the best-of-seven series.
The Spurs, still led by acting coach Ettore Messina with Gregg Popovich absent following the death of his wife, will be heavy underdogs on the road in game five. But the Warriors were locked into a two-man game early between Green and Durant, and in the second half they exhausted the pick-and-roll.
"You know how important Pop is, not only for us players, but the whole organization and the whole NBA", Ginobili said Saturday (via the Associated Press). "You get in such a hole and then you're playing the right way, you're doing the right things, you're doing everything you need to do to get over the hump - one call doesn't go your way, one bounce doesn't go your way, one shot doesn't go your way, and that's where everything catches up to you... it's all good".
After all, the Warriors won the first three games of the series by a combined 49 points (average victory of 16.3 points).
Defending NBA champions Golden State failed to complete a sweep of the San Antonio Spurs, with Manu Ginobili coming off the bench to score 10 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter to spark the hosts over the Warriors 103-90.
When asked if the Spurs wanted to win because it could have been possibly Ginobili's last game of his career, forward Rudy Gay responded with, "I mean, when you see Manu out there, y'all think he's going to retire?"
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The Brazilian playmaker entered the box free from markers before making a pass back to Suarez, who just tapped the ball in. By the time Coutinho converted his penalty in the 69th minute, Barca were simply sharing the goals around.
There was no benefit to Sunday's loss, either.
"I can't put a timetable on it", Kerr said.
Golden State cut the deficit to 93-88 on Durant's driving layup with 4:11 left, but Ginobili answered with a three-pointer 18 seconds later. Steve Kerr did not rail into his team for their lackluster play at the start of the game, but during one of the timeouts he addressed the issues and tried to encouraged them, saying, "Let's get engaged".
And Sunday's outcome - and, in turn, Tuesday's game - was eminently avoidable.
Shaun Livingston (10) was the only other Golden State player scoring in double figures, and Draymond Green finished with 18 rebounds, eight on the offensive end. The Warriors racked up 5 turnovers in a bit over 4 minutes. They put the Spurs in the bonus with 7:59 left in the third quarter, with Andre Iguodala plagued with foul trouble (four).
Add Sunday's game to that ledger. They are patient, but they also play with a faster pace than their opponent and they zip the ball around the floor and move north-south at full acceleration.
"We had a good night shooting". You've got to play hard and smart and tough. "Come Tuesday, we're going to start better".
Five Spurs players scored in double digits, led by LaMarcus Aldridge's double double of 22 points and 10 rebounds, but the real story of the game was Manu Ginobli's resilience.