Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson of the Warriors, dubbed by their coach Mark Jackson as the greatest shooting backcourt off all time, combined for a dismal 14 points last night at the AT&T Center against the San Antonio Spurs, who were led by Tony Parker’s 25 points and 10 assists, lifting the veteran Spurs to a commanding 3-2 lead in the series.
Thompson, who had scored 29 points in the first half of game two after catching fire from Agni in game two, didn’t even attempt a three-point field goal, and scored just four points. His running mate Curry provided insufficient cover-fire for him, in what looked like his worst performance of the series scoring just nine points on 4-14 shooting and turning the ball over four times. His 44 point eruption in game one seems like a distant memory. While Curry’s ankle injury from Friday night in Oracle may be the reason behind his recent playing woes, hours prior to tip-off, the young guard from Davidson felt pretty spry heading into Game 5.
“I feel good. Ready to go tonight. It feels a whole lot better than it did before Game 4, so that’s all I could ask for,” Curry said to Tim Kawakami of The San Jose Mercury.
Whether his ankles started giving him trouble as the game got underway, or the pressure reached to an insurmountable height for Curry, as a team moving forward, the Warriors have a real cause for concern heading into Oracle on Thursday. Andrew Bogut’s only basket was a layup in the first quarter off a lob pass from Curry, and Festus Ezeli, Draymond Green, Richard Jefferson, and David Lee, all but Ezeli played over ten minutes, and were held either scoreless or below double-digits.
To add to the laundry list of problems, the Spurs are starting to play with an energy and enthusiasm unseen from the first four games, beginning from the bottom of the starting lineup in Tony Parker, whose use of the high pick and roll is sending the Warriors into a defensive nightmare. It’s allowed Parker, in not only last night’s game, but the games before, to get easy shots for himself and his teammates. Game five saw forward Kawahi Leonard and shooting guard Danny Green spot up after a Parker screen for easy threes. Leonard scored 17 points on nearly 88% shooting and Green chipped in with 16.
The Warriors can only hope for Harrison Barnes and Jarrett Jack to continue to produce on offense, who both scored 25 and 20 points each. But, Golden State can’t expect to win, not only the next game, but the series in general, without great performances from their promising and ever improving backcourt.
“No one talks about getting this thing (series) over with, like you've got a rash or that type of thing and you take a pill or some cream and it's going to be gone. It's about going and playing, and that's about it,” said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
For the amount of noise that will be breaking sound barriers in Oracle Thursday night, and what will inevitably be a heart wrenching end for both teams, it wouldn’t be a bad idea to carry some aspirin before tip-off.
All stats borrowed and derived from NBA.com.