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Spurs ride strong nights from Tony Parker and Tim Duncan to take down Warriors

May 11, 2013, 2:24 AM EDT

Spurs' Duncan pats team mate Parker on the head during their Game 3 win over the Golden State Warriors in their NBA Western Conference semi-final playoff basketball game in Oakland

It took 3 games, but the Spurs finally started to look like themselves against the Warriors. The ball movement was back, the defensive discipline was there and with those two things in place the Spurs took control back in the series with a 102-92 win in game 3.

After the game Gregg Popovich said that heading into the contest he implored Tony Parker and Tim Duncan to be more aggressive in looking for their own shots. Both stars took that advice to heart by showing up big and driving the Spurs’ offense from the outset.

Parker played to the level that had his name mentioned as an MVP candidate during the season, scoring 32 points on only 23 shots while tallying 5 rebounds and 5 assists as well. Parker did a lot of his damage from mid-range, using the threat of his driving ability to create space and consistently hit his jumper. When the defense tried to step up to contest his shot he used hesitation dribbles and quick bursts to get into the paint and finish at the rim.

Duncan, meanwhile, was nearly as good in his own right. After struggling to get good looks against Andrew Bogut in the series’ first two games, Duncan used all facets of his all-court game to score 23 much needed points for his team. He sank his jumper when operating as a release valve out of the pick and roll, then used those makes to set up his drives to the rim when his defender closed out too hard. Duncan also went to his bread and butter in the post, working his turnaround jumper and half hooks to very good results.

But where the Spurs were really at their best was on the defensive side of the ball.

Where Duncan and Parker combined for 55 points, the Warriors’ starting five only combined for 56. Particularly impressive was what they were able to do to the Warriors’ starting backcourt. Stephen Curry, who suffered a sprained ankle in the 4th quarter, only hit 5 of his 17 shots to score his 16 points while Klay Thompson only made 7 of his 20 attempts to score 17 points. Neither ever got into a rhythm, mostly because they couldn’t consistently create space to get off their jumpers.

With Tiago Splitter back in the starting lineup, the Spurs always had one big man at the rim to protect the paint and that allowed the other big to step out high on the pick and roll to deny the three point shots the Warriors love to take out of that action. Golden State only attempted 19 three pointers in this game after attempting 30 and 23 in games one and two respectively. Limiting those attempts threw off the Warriors’ offense and they had to look elsewhere for points.

Only, no one else could really step up to provide them. The most efficient Warriors on the night were Carl Landry (14 points on 5-8 shooting) and David Lee who, in three minutes of action, not only pumped up the crowd with his presence but also provide a nice boost by scoring 5 points on 3 shots. Beyond them, though, the Warriors box score was littered with poor shooting nights from Jarrett Jack (5-12), Harrison Barnes (4-10), and Draymond Green (2-7).

With the stars and the role players all having tough shooting nights the Warriors needed to play good defense and make all the little plays to win this game, but they couldn’t do those things either. Instead they committed 11 turnovers that the Spurs turned into 20 points and also had too many suspect offensive possessions where nearly the entire shot clock was eaten up by dribbling that never established a viable threat (I’m looking at you, Jarrett Jack).

After the game Mark Jackson noted that the Warriors aren’t good enough to win games in this series when they don’t play their game. And Jackson is 100% correct in that. But credit the Spurs because it was their execution that took away what the Warriors wanted to do, especially on defense where they effectively crowded shooters and showed quick, decisive help in the paint.

And with Parker and Duncan carrying the offense, that’s all they needed.

  1. purplekobra69 - May 11, 2013 at 2:50 AM

    Wait, aren’t the Warriors suppose to be contenders or something.

  2. moseskkim - May 11, 2013 at 3:38 AM

    Warriors need to get steph better looks and have everyone exploit tony Parker’s D. And jarrett jack needs to play better than that. He was horrendous tonight. Dubs were so close to taking control but let spurs get right back up 6-8. Gotta keep the foot on the gas pedal.

  3. pistolpete0903 - May 11, 2013 at 3:45 AM

    The Spurs are a thing of beauty when they play like today.

    • txnative61 - May 11, 2013 at 4:39 AM

      Yeah—beautiful, methodical, predictable, omniscient, and boring, but whatever—its a W!

    • andrewproughcfe - May 11, 2013 at 12:18 PM

      I don’t like the way Danny Green and Neal and Splitter and some of the other younger Spurs players continue to look lost in the flow of heavy traffic near the basket. Especially their inability to make strong scoring moves after grabbing a loose ball. Warriors’ players seem to have more of a sense of where they are on the floor. This thing could go to 6 or 7 games, in which case I don’t like the Spurs’ chances very much. They need to try to close it out by clamping down on defense and winning the next two.

      • pistolpete0903 - May 11, 2013 at 1:12 PM

        The players you mentioned are role players and not necessarily the go-to people on offense.
        I think on defense, Green did a particularly good job on Curry (it helped that Curry was kinda limping). Splitter isn’t bad on defense either.
        If the Ginobili of old steps up, the Spurs would be a tough out for the Heat (if I were a Spurs fan, the Grizzlies scare me more than the Heat)
        Spurs in 6 (in 7 if Curry heals)

  4. raylangivens2 - May 11, 2013 at 4:53 AM

    I wonder how Curry’s ankle is going to be. After it happened he basically just ran to the corner and stood there during offensive possessions and it was clear he was hurting. I was shocked the Spurs didn’t exploit it as he was out there on one leg.

  5. e39er - May 11, 2013 at 5:30 AM

    enjoy dub fans….if Steph continues like this he’ll be a bright superstar but only for a short time with his glass ankles

  6. rickyspanish - May 11, 2013 at 5:30 AM


    I thought the same thing. I’m starting to question Jackson’s decisions. First with the dirty play accusations, then leaving Curry in all those minutes during game 1 and tonight leaving him in while he was hurting. I know Curry might not have wanted to come out, but Jackson could’ve forced him to the bench and put someone out there who could at least defend.

  7. saintssince8 - May 11, 2013 at 6:08 AM

    Spurs in 6. In this case experience trumps youth.

  8. saint1997 - May 11, 2013 at 7:39 AM

    I haven’t heard the name Brandon Rush since like a week after his injury, but I think his absence has actually had a larger impact on the GSW than people realise

  9. jbeagles23 - May 11, 2013 at 7:47 AM

    This is a great series. A young up and coming team that can shoot the lights out vs a team of old methodical vets

  10. bucrightoff - May 11, 2013 at 8:38 AM

    Stats don’t show it but not too many guys were more important last night than Danny Green. Made Curry’s life miserable.

  11. therealkennypowers55 - May 11, 2013 at 10:06 AM

    The playoffs were more interesting when the Spurs and Heat were losing games. If I have to watch parker and Duncan run one more high screen and pop I may just throw my TV on to the ocean. The refs also have that win to the Heat. BS.

  12. mungman69 - May 11, 2013 at 10:15 AM

    There are a lot of people complaining about the refs. The refs are bad but I dont see any one team benefiting.

  13. ortizmari27 - May 11, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    So much for GSW being unbeatable at home,talking bout we smash people at bay we got loudest fans blah blah blah we don’t leave early….Los Spurs in 5

  14. baymac408 - May 11, 2013 at 10:45 AM

    Jack played horrible and we didn’t get good looks!! But this guy ABOVE me would get smashed in the bay! At least if I saw him he would! GO WARRIORS

    • jimeejohnson - May 11, 2013 at 11:17 AM

      I think you’re lying.

  15. ortizmari27 - May 11, 2013 at 10:56 AM

    Didn’t you u say u we’re At game 1 in another post if so I’m a lot closer than u think but anyways u were one the guys talking all the blah blah blah blah blah blah blah blah.i hate people who make threats online its cowardly..

  16. baymac408 - May 11, 2013 at 11:05 AM

    I didn’t go last night maybe Sunday.. Probably not.. Most likely will go to game 6.. And if I saw you in real life it wouldn’t be so cowardly big guy.. GO WARRIORS REGARDLESS… We dropped the ball last night.. But Sunday will be a better game for us.. Just keep talking lil man all I read is blah blah blah!! DUBS FOR LIFE

    • jimeejohnson - May 11, 2013 at 11:18 AM

      You’re full of crap.

  17. baymac408 - May 11, 2013 at 11:16 AM

    @ortizmari27 .. Just stay quiet bruh.. Spurs are supposed to be playing like they did last night.. We didn’t stand a chance remember?? Now spurs fans are worried and the World has woken up! Like I said we might not get to the finals, but we will shock the world

    • jimeejohnson - May 11, 2013 at 11:19 AM

      Nobody’s worried except you.

  18. baymac408 - May 11, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    @jimeejohnson shut up ball swinger!! I’m not worried at all.. We weren’t even supposed to make it this far… Your a cool guy trying to put on your cape.. Lmao

  19. ortizmari27 - May 11, 2013 at 11:23 AM

    Yes sir,but after Los Spurs put the gsw out their misery u can go back rooting for ur lakers!!!! Blah blah blah

  20. baymac408 - May 11, 2013 at 11:28 AM

    I hate the lakers bro!! Honestly that’s more disrespectful then slapping me in the face.. Lol I hate LA

  21. ortizmari27 - May 11, 2013 at 11:40 AM

    Haha it’s all good I like the warriors they got a great squad they are a fun team to watch,FYI I hate the lakers with passion.

  22. ortizmari27 - May 11, 2013 at 11:45 AM

    Is that u Jimee the race car the drive for 5 is still alive!!!!!

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