Golden State Warriors Must Exorcise Demons in Spurs’ Gym

The Golden State Warriors have been on the right side of setting positive streaks of late, most notably the record setting marks for wins to start a season (24-0) along with the currently running 50 straight home wins in the regular season.

But one streak that has been a thorn on the side of the Warriors franchise for almost two decades is the 32 straight losses in the Spurs’ home building. The last time the Warriors took a game on the road against the Spurs was February 14, 1997.

To put things in perspective, the last time the Warriors were able to beat the Spurs on their home floor, a guy named Tim Duncan was enjoying life as a college senior for Wake Forest. In other words, the Big Fundamental has never lost to the Warriors while at home. Ever.

Things were so much different when the Warriors last defeated the Spurs in their home. Dominique Wilkins was the Spurs’ leading scorer while in the twilight of his career, outscoring fellow Hall of Famer David Robinson. The Warriors were led by the infamous Latrell Sprewell and his 24 points per game. Believe it or not, the Warriors swept the season series against the Spurs in the 1996-97 season.

With the Warriors heading into one of the showdowns of the year against the Spurs on Saturday at the AT&T Center, to say they are overdue for a win in Spurs Land would be the understatement of the year. The Alamodome/AT&T Center has been a house of horrors since the arrival of Duncan and the Warriors could benefit from a confidence boost for the playoffs if they were to win at least one of their next two games in San Antonio before the playoffs.

The Warriors have been mostly dominant in their chase to break the Bulls’ 72 win record, but all of that will be negated if they cannot defeat the Spurs in San Antonio. All season long, Warriors’ players and coaches have preached at how winning the title last year has helped give them the experience and know how to approach every game. The matchup in San Antonio should be seen as a championship test and will require the team be at their best, especially since they will continue to be without the services of their all purpose piece in Andre Iguodala.

Striving for the overall number-one seed in the playoffs should continue to be a priority for the Warriors as they prepare for the playoffs. It gives them a bit of an insurance policy should a series reach a Game Seven. But the greatest teams have always been able to win in hostile environments when the stakes were highest. Finding a way to win in San Antonio at least once before the playoffs start would be a huge measuring stick as to how focused the Warriors are the postseason gets closer.

It has been no secret that the Warriors have been susceptible to lulls during games, giving up large leads late. The last time the Warriors put a real stranglehold for an entire game was probably their first meeting with the Spurs in Oracle in January. It would behoove the Warriors to find that same focus and mojo they had that night for Saturday’s matchup, especially since they will be going into the second night of a back-to-back after playing Dallas on Friday.

The road to repeating as champions will almost undoubtedly go through San Antonio if the Warriors are able to advance to the Western Conference Finals. The regular season has been a long test as to how the Warriors would respond to winning their first championship in 40 years, and conquering their biggest rivals on their home floor would be another check off their list towards completing one of the greatest seasons in NBA history.