Warriors Score A Win That Defies Description

h

OAKLAND, Calif. – The crowd let go for good, in appreciation and probably in exhausted release, with about 40 seconds remaining. It was after Draymond Green corralled the defensive rebound of Tim Duncan‘s miss and the final Spurs threat had been denied. They cheered loudly through the final possessions as the clock drained to zero and fans inside Roar-acle Arena realized this actually would happen.

The Warriors really would use limping Stephen Curry … and hobbling David Lee … and have starting bigs Andrew Bogut and Carl Landry pick up three fouls in the first quarter … and need a loudspeaker to reach Andris Biedrins at the end of the bench to use him in the second quarter of the biggest game in at least six seasons … and come back to beat the Spurs 97-87 in overtime Sunday. All while shooting 38 percent.

Pick a description that fits.

Unlikely? For sure, but maybe too understated. That makes it seems like the Warriors had to overcome an obstacle. This was the day when everything went wrong — health, fouls, offense — until it went so right and they had a 2-2 tie in the best-of-seven series that shifts to San Antonio on Wednesday.

Improbable? That works. Golden State grinded enough and the Spurs also shot poorly enough, at 35.5 percent, that the Warriors were able to stay close. But to say it was clear they had that passing gear in them, not a chance. And yet, they went eight down with 4:49 remaining in the fourth to overtime to outscoring the Spurs 13-3 in overtime as San Antonio went 1-for-10 from the field.

Impossible? Too strong. Because this has become the season, as evidenced again Sunday, when nothing is impossible for the Warriors.

“I don’t know a good adjective to use,” Lee said after thinking for a moment. “But it’s definitely satisfying. That’s a good way to put it.”

Satisfying at the very least. The Warriors couldn’t hit a shot in the first half and had 37 points at the break, but didn’t give in to frustration. They knew they were playing hard and with a sharp focus, unlike the lacking effort two days earlier in the Game 3 loss, and that it was just a matter of getting the same good looks to fall. Eleven players had already been used in the patch job by coach Mark Jackson, including Biedrins, who delivered a hold-the-fort three minutes at center in his first appearance since April 12.

The end result was much more than a victory, as if that wasn’t enough at a time like this. The Warriors didn’t get swamped under by adversity, so they grew some more late in what had already been a season of maturation. Curry went from game-time decision (because of the sprained left ankle) to generating all of three shots in the first half to finishing with 22 points while making 5-for-10 from behind the arc and 7-for-15 overall. So, he had survived. Jarrett Jack went from taking local heat for his decision making as the backup point guard to contributing 12 points in the fourth quarter and overtime and 24 overall. He had endured, too.

“It’s because of who we are,” Jackson said. “This is what these guys have been. This is how hard they’ve worked. This is how they’re committed. It’s a special season for this basketball team and this group of guys, this entire organization and its fan base. We’ve done things that show us when we do ‘em how good we can be. I’m not surprised by anything. One thing I know, this team will not lay down, this team will not quit. It looked dark. It looked awfully dark. But we found a way to get stops and make plays.

“I’ve been talking about this group all year long. I’m just so glad that a national TV audience had an opportunity to see exactly what’s been taking place in this area. Like I said, this is the greatest group of guys I’ve been around. … I [have] a young basketball team that’s got incredible heart. I’m so, so proud of those guys, from the first guy to the last guy. You look at a guy like Biedrins. Called upon, gave us great minutes. I mean, we got an incredible group. People beat up Jarrett Jack. ‘Why is he pounding the ball? Bench him.’ I’m going to go with this group until I’m not here. This is a great group and I’m committed to them, they’re committed to me. Just a big-time win. This is a heck of a series.”

It still is, at 2-2 rather than 3-1 with the Spurs heading home and the Warriors afraid to wonder what else can go wrong because then they would find out. It is a heck of series because only almost everything went bad for Golden State on Sunday. It is because Game 4 actually did happen.

44 Comments

  1. Todd Plummer says:

    How do you write about this game and not even mention the leading scorer for the Warriors – Harrison Barnes? He had a frickin double-double. That’s a headline-leading performance. Dude.

  2. bystander says:

    how come no-one is talking about the 2 out of bounds calls, where 1 went off Barnes and the Warriors got the ball and then Bogut stepped out on the rebound and and after a tussle for the ball Warriors again with possession…… talking 4 point turnaround on the 1st play and possible spurs game winning chance in the last 30 secs….. just saying

    • AJ Mills says:

      Probably because the Spurs, as the veteran team with three future hall-of-famers, has gotten the benefit of the doubt on just about every call–including some of the questionable calls that keep putting the Warriors’ bigs in foul trouble.

      I honestly can’t believe anyone thinks the Spurs are getting the worst of the calls in this series. Not only does it not match what happens in the games, it’s also not the way the NBA works. Rookie-filled Cinderella teams don’t get favored over teams with as many rings as the Spurs.

  3. Hoops Lover says:

    This is fun! This is a lot of fun! The Warriors are defying all the odds and playing like a team. That is how they won! I l love the positive Energy from Mark Jackson and the confidence he instills in each and every one of his players. The Warriors showed that they really are WARRIORS by showing even when their legs were tired and their shots weren’t falling they could play incredible defense and hold a team like San Antonio to 15% shooting in the last 9 minutes of the game. That is amazing! I think Magic Johnson should eat Crow! He was selling out the Warriors so fast and just calling them a jump shooting team. The Warriors are going to take out San Antonio because they have younger legs and they want it more. San Antonio has rings and they don’t have the heart of this young Warriors team. GS in 6!

  4. FRONTROW says:

    SPURS IN 6. GO SPURS GO!!!

  5. Big Al says:

    I hope to see a Warriors-Grizzlies Western final. They can do it; they just have to believe in themselves and make the right decisions. The Spurs are great, but far from being the best team. GS certainly has a shot, and it can’t be any better than this one.

  6. S.T says:

    I hate to be negative, but Spurs and Warriors won’t be playing the NBA Finals with this effort. It is simply not good enough! The Warrriors with their depleted team are really fighting for it but will not excel without monster games from Curry and Thompson. The Spurs are a disappointment som far not playing their A-game. I thought the Spurs would be able to challenge the Heat for the championship but right now it does not look that way. I hope they can find that awesome ball movement again that has brought so much success in the past. Right now it it looks like Heat – Grizzlies in the finals!

  7. CD3 says:

    I love how the entire article explains grinding play, defensive adversity, yet only mentions Andrew Bogut as the guy in foul trouble. The man has come good at exactly the right time and is changing almost any shot near him, not to mention picking up the rebound(s). Give the man some proper credit!

  8. ko0kiE says:

    wow what a game… harrison barnes is a rookie! he surely looked like a vet out there…

  9. ism says:

    This game was really not a joy to watch. Living a Europe, I couldn’t watch the first 2 games of this series (too late in the morning), but it seems to me these playoffs are a little drained of interesting matchups… sure, GSW got Curry and a great team. But at this point, a conf. finals team at max. Bulls-Heat and then maybe Memphis-Heat in Finals are the series to watch for me. OKC would probably lose to Miami in the Finals if they had Westbrook. I wonder: where is that other team that comes close to being a rival to Miami? Show up!
    2011 playoffs: Dirk willing the Mavs to improbability. Great to watch.
    2012-now: Miami dominance.

  10. deeruffs says:

    may the best team win.

  11. DED says:

    If Andrew Bogut can keep on rebounding, Steph Curry, Harrison Branes, and Jarett Jack keep on scoring the Warriors will win.

  12. jake$ says:

    spurs will win game 5 and 6.. western final spurs vs. Memphis

  13. iamthesternnbalukte says:

    BLA BLA BLA BLA
    NBA COM IS HAPPY TO SELL THE YOUNG GUYS GROWING INN FFRRONT OF OUR EYES!!!!

    BANDWAGON JOURNALIST JOINING THE HYPE

    ITS PLAYOFFS AND ITS 2-2 GAME
    NEXT ONE IN SAN ANTONIO THEN BCK TO OAKLAND 4-2 OR 4-3

  14. Gillsy says:

    Now it’s 2-2 how will a loss like that play with the spurs heads. Don’t know about this year but in the next few years the warriors will be handed rings. Look at the age of most of the team and they all play for each other.

  15. ELCHATO says:

    SPURS WILL WIN THIS SERIES.

  16. Tom says:

    Spurs haven’t had a shooting night this bad in a LONG time and it still went to OT. Warriors are done in 6.

    • AJ Mills says:

      Warriors–a jump-shooting team–shot under 40% from the field and they still managed to win.

    • Stephisbeast says:

      And their bigs were in foul trouble. Let’s not forget, it took a complete meltdown and them practically handing the win to Spurs in game 1 for the Spurs to win. Even then, they had to hit a game-winning three pointer to win. Thompson had an off night for Game 4 and Curry was way too injured. Yet somehow they still won by 10. Not bad.

  17. mortished says:

    SAS were their own shadow yesterday, GSW will run out of steam soon

  18. JSM01 says:

    The winner of this series will loose to the Grizzlies anyway

  19. caloyski says:

    THE WARRIORS JUST NEED TO PLAY GO TEAM OFFENSE–THEY ARE THE BEST OFFENSIVE TEAM IN THE LEAGUE–THEY JUST NEED TO PLAY ON THEIR STRENGTHS– WHEN THEIR 3-POINT SHOTS FALL NOBODY (EVEN THE mIAMI hEAT) could beat them. I JUST HOPE THAT THEIR PLAYERS STAYS HEALTHY UP TO THE NBA FINALS– IF EVER THIS TEAM WILL INDEED DEFY ALL HOOP PUNDITS—GO WARRIORS–LIVE UP TO YOUR NAME–RELIVE THE RICK BARRY ERA!

  20. Rick says:

    i want to see gsw win, but the series is still the spurs’ to lose. either way this is going to be a scary team in the future they are growing up fast. core group of bogut, lee, barnes, thompson, and curry with quality bench in landry jack and green if they can keep them healthy and all together will have some deep playoff runs in the future.

    • Warrior Fan says:

      Well Rick I will truely agree with you but you left out one person that we haven’t had all year and that’s Brandon Rush, when we get him back healthy we will have one more dangerous shooter and defender for teams to worry about. GOOOOOOOOOOOOO DUBSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!

  21. opinionated wisdom says:

    Jarrett Jack has been the hero of this series. He’s made the biggest shots when Stephen Curry goes cold and resorts to throwing up absolute garbage. Curry needs to play within the offense and choose his shots more wisely. Jarrett Jack needs to do the same thing. Go Warriors.

  22. GoSPURSGo says:

    Nah! Spurs will win in 6 games! Two game win streak coming up!

  23. Love this basketball team. Great group of guys who are not only focused on winning, but value teamwork and camaraderie. Mark Jackson is truly the catalyst for this organization and it’s manifested through his actions, commitment, determination, engagement, and responsibility. Can’t thank the guy enough. The Golden State Warriors were the underdogs from the get go and they’ve prove themselves that anything is possible and we are all WITNESSES to this great basketball team. GSW ALL THE WAY BABY!!!!!!!!

  24. Bman says:

    Waaaarrrrriiiioooorrrrsss!!! Man that crowd in Oakland is awesome…Why would they ever want to go to SF an risk losing that Oakland swagger?

    • Stephisbeast says:

      Well because it isn’t Oakland swagger, it is Bay Area swagger. People come from all over the Bay to see the team play. So whether they play in SJ, SF, Oakland, or anywhere in the Bay Area, it will be the same. GSW is considered the Bay Area’s team more than “Oakland’s team”

  25. 3ptdagger says:

    San Antonio should have had this game in the bag. Poor free throw shooting hurt them, mostly from Tim Duncan. But I don’t know a lot of great 7′ free throw shooters. Is the ball just too small in their hands when they’re at the line?

    • all3n iv3rson says:

      up until that game, Duncan had shot 16-18 from the FT line during the playoffs. Just a bad shooting night.

    • Random Guy says:

      Maybe. Another case might be the lack of arc to there shot because of there height. A shot with high arc has better odds of going down than a line drive shot.

    • Sean says:

      Jack Sikma was about a 90% free throw shooter, and he was I think 7’1″. It can be done, but it needs practice and technique.

    • IYF says:

      Dirk Nowitzki nearly shoots 90% from the line and Yao Ming was also about 83% for his career. So it can’t be the big hands…

  26. Stephisbeast says:

    Warriors are taking this in 7. Biedrins played well – I was surprised when he checked in. The crowd certainly loved it. Credit to Mark Jackson for putting him in.

    • Clone says:

      That was the worst game (offensively) i’ve seen from the Spurs this season.. bad shooting, static offense.. and they went in OT with that….

      • Stephisbeast says:

        Not sure what your point is I mean, both teams have had their moments. It took a complete meltdown from the Warriors in Game 1 and a game -winning three in double overtime for the Spurs to beat the Warriors. It goes both ways, this is why it is a great series. Some would argue that the Warriors should be up 3- 1 right now… I just say it is a heck of a series.

      • AM says:

        And in the final minutes Tim Duncan looked like a 50 year old

      • Warrior Fan says:

        Well you can say how bad the Spurs shot but from what I saw the Warriors shot just as bad but pulled it out. If we have a typical Warrior shooting game this is a blow out. The W’s are going to give the Spurs all they can handle, The Spurs are older experienced team and the W’s are a young hungry team. We will see in the comming days which will prevail. GOOOOOOOOOOOOO WARRIORS!!!!!!!!!!

  27. shepherd says:

    warriors rock!

  28. thunderup says:

    GS in seven. currys the man.Hopefully GS VS THUNDER.

  29. dw1979 says:

    What a great series. I think Spurs have the obviously better coach, more experience and team chemistry. However, as long as Bogut stays fit and Curry keeps playing like what he’s been doing recently, GSW is surely in with a chance. Absolutely no way to call this series. Great entertainment.