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National Basketball Association playoffs wrap: Wade helps Heat even series

17 April, 2018, 23:27 | Author: Heidi Alvarez
  • Apr 8 2018 Phoenix AZ USA Golden State Warriors guard Quinn Cook dribbles the ball during the second half against the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Resort Arena. Mandatory Credit Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

With less than three minutes remaining, coach Gregg Popovich took his stars off the court to make sure they would not be hurt before Game 3.

Klay Thompson followed up his 27-point performance in Game 1 with a 31-point performance in Game 2, adding in five assists in 37 minutes.

We'll have up-to-the-minute scoring and stats here throughout the game.

But unlike the turnovers from Game 1, which Kerr called "careless", this time it was the Spurs defense causing the majority of the problems.

Right from the beginning of Game 1 - when Andre Iguodala was put into the starting lineup - it was clear Golden State was motivated to change the tenor of its defense, which has lagged during the team's recent slump (Warriors Coach Steve Kerr confirmed after the game that that was the reason behind starting Iguodala over Quinn Cook).

San Antonio struggled from the floor for the second straight game, finishing 35 for 85 (41.2 percent).

Aldridge averaged 23.1 points and 18.0 shots from the field during the regular season. Aldridge also shot only 5 of 12 from the field.

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"It's not just one guy who has the ball all the time and making all the plays", Durant said. The Warriors will use the raucous Oracle Arena crowd to propel them to a game 2 win, and a 2-0 series lead. He had eight rebounds with his 12 points and 11 assists.

To make matters worse, the Warriors ended up getting matched up with the San Antonio Spurs during the first round. We know how talented we are.

"We've got to regroup, feel hurt, upset, kind of desperate", Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili said after Saturday's shellacking.

The Spurs will need power forward, Lamarcus Aldridge, to have a much better game on Monday night than he did in Game 1. "The shortest player of the starters was Iguodala at the point at 6'6", and with McGee and Kevin Durant in the paint with their enormous length and skyscraping wingspans, they bothered a great majority of the shots that the Spurs tried to take.

"We played well. We played hard". The Spurs did not have enough to counter the Warriors' depth. But Golden State turned it on in the second half to score a 116-101 victory and go up 2-0 in the series. Having Derrick Rose take the most shots on the team - and five more than Towns - simply isn't going to work in any situation. He was 5-8 from beyond the arc, and it's tough to beat Golden State when Thompson is hitting from range. While the Spurs' offensive was sporadic, the Warriors carried over their hot shooting from Game 1. Durant has 28 for Golden State.

Golden State Warriors' Andre Iguodala (9) celebrates after scoring a bucket during the first quarter of Game 2 of their National Basketball Association first-round playoff series at Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif., on Monday, April 16, 2018. "[You] can't win in this league in the playoffs unless you defend, and they defended tonight, and we went with our best defensive group". At the team's lowest point last month, the Big Four - Curry, Draymond Green, Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant - were all absent for two consecutive losses against IN and Utah at home.

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