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With a gut-check overtime win, Warriors even series with Spurs

May 12, 2013, 8:46 PM EDT

Warriors' Curry is congratulated by fans and team mate Barnes in the Warriors' overtime win over the Spurs during Game 4 of their NBA Western Conference semi-final playoff basketball game in Oakland

If you listen to head coach Mark Jackson talk about his Warriors one thing becomes abundantly clear about the identity he wants his team to have. Jackson wants his team to play defense first and let the offense take care of itself via the virtues of his high potent outside shooting attack.

Today, Jackson got the first part of that equation in spades as his Warriors held the Spurs to 33 makes on 93 shots (35.5%), including a miserable 1-10 effort in overtime, en route to a series evening 97-87 win.

With the Warriors not shooting well either (35-92 from the floor), this game wasn’t a pretty one to watch. Both teams struggled early to find the rhythm of the game as the refs called a tight contest that needed adjusting to. Be it offensive fouls on moving picks, bumps on post ups, or hand checks on the perimeter, the flow of the game was choppy and neither team ever seemed to be able to get into a flow on offense.

With the whistle blowing frequently, the Spurs were able to capitalize when the entire Warriors’ big man rotation found themselves in foul trouble. Andrew Bogut picked up three fouls in the first period and with the Golden State’s defensive anchor on the bench San Antonio was able to carve out a lead heading into the 2nd half.

But, even with the Spurs taking advantage of a thin Warriors’ front-line they weren’t able to create the type of separation they needed to really break the game open. With the Warriors going small to compensate, they were able to better rotate around the perimeter and dig down into the post to keep the game closer than it should have been. When combined with a solid offensive output from Jarrett Jack (10 of his 24 points in the first half) and a few timely shots from Harrison Barnes the Warriors were able to hang around

And that was really the Spurs’ biggest issue in this game. While they showed early that they could build an advantage, the Warriors just continued to scrap and stay within striking distance. And by the time the 2nd half came around, all the Warriors needed was one sustained offensive push and they found themselves right back in the game.

This is where the ability of the Warriors to get contributions from multiple players on their roster was so huge. As mentioned, Jack was a key performer by scoring  24 points, including several big baskets in the 2nd half and overtime. Barnes, while not scoring that efficiently, was also important scoring a team high 26 points on a variety of post ups, pull up jumpers, and drives to the rim. Barnes didn’t score that efficiently — he needed 26 shots to get his 26 points — but his ability to work as a post up option in the half court gave his team a steadiness that they sorely needed.

One of the reasons they needed Barnes and Jack was because Curry simply couldn’t be the ball dominant human torch he’s made his name on these playoffs. Curry was still able to pour in 22 points on 7-15 shooting, but had to pick his spots more carefully as he was clearly still hampered by his bad left ankle. Don’t get me wrong, his points and shot making were still huge for his team, but those other guys gave the Warriors a balance and diversity that was so important.

Meanwhile, the Spurs simply couldn’t muster the offense they needed to hold off the Dubs. Manu Ginobili was mostly fantastic in scoring 21 points on 8-18 shooting but did most of his damage in the 1st half. Tim Duncan never did establish a good flow, only hitting 7 of his 22 shots to score his 19 points. And Tony Parker, who was also clearly still bothered by his bad calf, needed 17 shots to score his 17 points and wasn’t as aggressive in getting into the paint.

So here the Warriors are, tied 2-2 heading back to Texas where they’ve already proven they can win. If this series has taught us anything about them it’s that they play well beyond their years and have enough talent to hang with the old guard Spurs. Whether they can actually pull off the upset in this series remains to be seen, but this game at least showed they’re not going to fold anytime soon.

  1. bucrightoff - May 12, 2013 at 8:57 PM

    How is it that they don’t or can’t review that ball going out off Bogut? Whats the point of having replay if you don’t use it when you can get a call right?

    • eventhorizon04 - May 12, 2013 at 9:23 PM

      The replay rule wasn’t applicable, unfortunately.

      Out of bounds calls are reviewable in the final 2 minutes, but the key point is, the ball was never ruled as having gone out of bounds.
      Play was only stopped due to a timeout after the referees completely missed Bogut standing out of bounds while touching the ball. Otherwise, the “official” ruling was that the ball never went out of bounds.

      In other words – an official can use replay to choose which team gets the ball after an out of bounds call. However, an official CANNOT use replay to rule whether a ball went out of bounds if the ball was never ruled as having been out of bounds.

      • eventhorizon04 - May 12, 2013 at 9:27 PM

        Shorter explanation:

        By rule, if any referee had ruled the ball “out of bounds” on that possession, the referees could have gone to replay to determine which team deserved possession.

        Because no referee had ever ruled the ball as having been out of bounds on that play, the referees weren’t allowed to go to replay.

  2. oaktown49er - May 12, 2013 at 9:22 PM

    Love it! People want to write the Warriors off too fast. The Spurs are a great team and it will be hard for the Dubs to win the series, but it was awesome to see the young inexperienced team dominate in OT.

    • andrewproughcfe - May 13, 2013 at 5:37 AM

      The Spurs used to be great not only because they had the big 3, but they also had the NBA’s best role players like Robert Horry, Bruce Bowen, Steve Kerr, and Jeff Hornacek. Those guys could not only play tough defense, but could also hit huge shots at the end of the game. The current role players, like Danny Green, Gary Neal, and Splitter tend to clank their shots or throw up air-balls in the clutch against the better teams.

      One thing I cannot understand is why Kawhi Leonard and Boris Diaw are not getting more offensive opportunities. Leonard has got enough skills to create shots effectively off of screens, and has some excellent post moves. Rather than giving so many shots to Green, Neal and Ginobili, I would like to see Leonard taking it hard to the basket more frequently.

  3. itsonlyaspeedbump - May 12, 2013 at 9:30 PM

    Absolutely hated the Dubs final possession before OT. Im not a fan of the dribble-the-clock-down-then-run-ISO-for-a-long-2 play at the end of the game for any player, but if you insist on doing the hero ball thing coming from a TO I would have preferred the better shooting and decision making Curry to play the role.

    I know that Jarrett Jack has a little Nate Robinson in him, and he certainly played big down the stretch. But much like Robinson he is prone to taking a bad shot or making the costly turnover. I would have much preferred a set like the one they ran to tie the game with Thompson getting the layup. Im happy tbe Dubs won anyway, but Im afraid Mark Jackson might look at the outcome of this game and think that its a formula that will continue to work in tight games.

    • melkipershero - May 12, 2013 at 9:37 PM

      I hate it as well. Seems to be the go to play for most teams anymore

    • arrowgargantuan - May 13, 2013 at 12:08 AM

      They did that because the injured Tony Parker was guarding jack, while danny green was guarding the injured steph.

      That being said, they still could’ve ran a play. Last second isolation just seems lazy to me.

    • pl4tinum514 - May 13, 2013 at 8:40 AM

      Jackson just wanted to ensure that the worst outcome would be going into overtime. I cant imagine he runs that same play if they’re down by two at the time. I didn’t like the play, but it’s the safe one, and you can’t really lose by doing it.

  4. itsonlyaspeedbump - May 12, 2013 at 9:40 PM

    Also cant say enough about how much Bogut has meant to this team in these playoffs. Defensively and on the boards he completely changes the dynamic of this team for the good.

    And Harrison Barnes despite shooting inefficiently today is quickly becoming a force to be reckoned with.

    • erckle31 - May 12, 2013 at 11:41 PM

      Seriously, I felt like the Warriors were done when Lee went down, but for some reason I think they’re a better team with Bogut. Lee is a terrible interior defender, something that Bogut has shown that he can do very well against Duncan.

      • anhdazman - May 13, 2013 at 6:13 AM

        I’m not sure if you watch much of the Warriors after a statement like that. Another unwise fan knocking David Lee’s defense but notice how most PF can’t match his production. Lee is a top 5 PF and what he gives up defensively, he wears down the other guy offensively. This All Star led the NBA in double doubles. More than anyone else in the league.
        I’ll take a hard nose blue collar worker like Lee over a talented underachiever every freaking time!
        I think Landry and Green are doing a wonderful job filling in for Lee, but let’s not be fooled that those guys can replace Lee’s numbers or leadership on the court. Bogut and Lee tandem would be one of the best passing big men and would complement each other. You got to remember all of our starters have yet to play together for a large part of the season due to Bogut’s injuries. It usually takes a few years for teams to get that experience with one another.

  5. rickyspanish - May 12, 2013 at 10:09 PM

    oaktown49er

    Who’s writing the Warriors off?

    • oaktown49er - May 13, 2013 at 6:03 AM

      After game 3 there was a lot of doubt on the part of sports writers, TV analysts and fans (although mostly Spurs fans). It’s a common theme with the underdogs, people are just waiting for it to end.

  6. jda247 - May 12, 2013 at 11:22 PM

    Am I’m the only one that feel like this game was fixed? Once overtime came, the Spurs started playing like the Cavaliers.

    • melkipershero - May 12, 2013 at 11:34 PM

      Teams miss shots and go cold. Im sure the Spurs make enough money. Now refs rigging games is plausible. Players? Not the ones making millions.

  7. ortizmari27 - May 13, 2013 at 1:24 AM

    Screw that the ball touched AB on the out of bounds play DG4 had the rebound with one hand and AB was holding his other arm wheres the foul,either way Los Spurs missed plenty of FREE throws that should of put the game away they let this one slip away. Now they must take care of business at home.

    • 808rude - May 13, 2013 at 12:13 PM

      Karma, you know how many times i’ve seen Green, leonard, parker grabbing and hugging Curry as he tries to run off screens on the baseline??? Those go uncalled too, if they called a foul everytime that happened the Spurs scrubs would have to play the whole second half!

  8. thenew013 - May 13, 2013 at 5:20 AM

    dude the refs make the nba seem like the softest league in all of sports at times. i will watch a game where it gets real chippy and guys are just playin hard then i watch games where every tap draws a whistle. pick a standard and stick with it for goodness sake.

  9. baymac408 - May 13, 2013 at 11:58 AM

    Harrison Barnes is playing like a beast these playoffs!! Great win.. I to hate when jarret jack has the ball and dribbles out te whole possession.. Sometimes I want to see the ball in somebody else’s hands but his, then again he comes thru a lot of the time.. If we can win this next one is San Antonio then come back for game 6 the W’s will have a foo shot.. The whole world wrote us off before playoffs started!! We are definitely here.. Started from the bottom now my whole team f’n here!! GO WARRIORS!

  10. ortizmari27 - May 13, 2013 at 1:41 PM

    Haha karma how does bogut and Landry have six fouls combined in first half and only one combined foul in the whole second half,talk about swallowing the whistle don’t tell me all of a sudden those Two players learned how to set proper screens in 20 minutes hahahha those two And kg are the worst screen setters in the nba.

  11. gostlcards5 - May 13, 2013 at 2:25 PM

    Was Steph doing “You Can’t See Me” in the headline picture on the NBA page?

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