The Golden State Warriors’ business trip to San Antonio ends with mixed results

SAN ANTONIO,TX - APRIL 22 : Kyle Anderson
SAN ANTONIO,TX - APRIL 22 : Kyle Anderson /

The Golden State Warriors are now leaving San Antonio after splitting the two games that made up their trip to Texas. The team must come back and win at home in game five. 

It is not time to press the panic button on the Golden State Warriors‘ first round series with the San Antonio Spurs. After taking the first two games at Oracle Arena and controlling the Spurs 110-97 in the third game, the Warriors left the door open for LaMarcus Aldridge and company by dropping Sunday’s game 103-90.

Ideally, playing an inferior opponent like this year’s Spurs team, completing the sweep would have been the outcome. But a veteran squad like the Spurs is prideful and  came to play Sunday, unwilling to let its season end.

From the Warriors’ perspective, if they come home and handle business in the series’ fifth game, the game four loss will just be a blip on the radar. But if they let the Spurs steal the next encounter in Oakland it will lengthen the series and could have an impact heading into the next series with the New Orleans Pelicans, the team who pulled off a shocking sweep of the third seeded Portland Trailblazers.

Here are some things to keep an eye from the trip to San Antonio in advance Tuesday’s game:

The closing unit:

While trying to overcome a fourth quarter deficit to close out the series, Steve Kerr opted to play Nick Young along with core of Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, and Klay Thompson.

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If it worked out, Kerr would have looked great – especially since Young had been the odd man out in the first three games. It will be interesting to see who gets that slot in the next game if it is tight. Quinn Cook could be the next man up – at least until Stephen Curry returns.

Defensive intensity:

As discussed after the first two games of the series, holding the Spurs to 25 points or fewer in quarters is an indicator of how well the Dubs are playing on the defensive end.

This played out in Thursday’s first game in San Antonio as the Spurs reached 26 points in third quarter and were kept in check in the others – resulting in a Warriors win. In the game four loss the Spurs scored better than 25 points in three quarters. Keep an eye on this trend in the next game(s) of this series.

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Three point shooting:

The NBA is a three point shooting league. In the three Warriors wins in the series they totaled 35 triples on 85 attempts, or 41.2 percent, while the Spurs made a combined 20 of 83 (24.1 percent) in their three losses.

What do you think propelled the Spurs to their series saving win? The Spurs made 15 of 28 triples (53.6 percent) while the Warriors struggled with the long ball, hitting just 7 of 28 (25 percent).

Look for home cooking to result in a big uptick in Golden State Warriors’ triples on the way to a potential series clinching victory.