Pictured: Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) drives between San Antonio Spurs guard Danny Green (14) and guard Bryn Forbes (11) during the second quarter in game two of the first round of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena, Oakland, California, April 16, 2018.
Klay Thompson was unbothered by the criticism surrounding the Golden State Warriors before the start of their postseason run, having gone a questionable 7-10 during the last stretch of the season, hindered by the absence of their leader, Stephen Curry, who is out with a Grade 2 sprained MCL.
That helped the Warriors regain the lead in the third quarter, but the Spurs behind Aldridge fought back to retake the lead 67-66 with 4:44 left in the quarter.
The Spurs came out determined, followed their game plan to the T to start the game and did all they could but at the end of the day, the talent deficit was just too much for them to overcome.
The Warriors came right of the gates, attempting to bury the Spurs early with a 15-8 lead.
LaMarcus Aldridge's strong play continued for the Spurs as he led all players with 34 points and 12 rebounds.
In Game 2, the Warriors resorted to bad seasonlong habits with their ball control. It wasn't that the Spurs were less physical, it was more that the Warriors attacked so quickly that they didn't give the defenders a chance to do the same damage they did in the first half. Yet, those miscues were not as pronounced because of the Warriors' discipline elsewhere. Thompson averaged 29.0 points in the first two games for Warriors. Draymond Green had nine points, five rebounds and four assists, but he missed his first five shots.
West scored on three straight second-quarter possessions and finished with 10 points and four rebounds in 14 minutes.
"I mean, they just took it to us the whole first half", Golden State coach Steve Kerr said after the game.
In Game 1, Durant almost posted a triple double (24 points, eight rebounds, seven assists). Thompson went 11 of 13 from the field. He played just 31 games in 2016-17, then appeared in 63 games this season, averaging 22.9 points, 11 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 blocks.
It was not JaVale McGee's night, as he looked tight on offense, fumbling and turning the ball over, while being completely lost on defense.
Despite all of those varying developments, some central themes still remained prevalent.
Thompson managed just three shots in the first quarter and began 1 for 5.
"They were in us on every cut, every pass", Kerr said.
The shooting guard is in a real groove at the moment and Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili, who was given the thankless task of guarding the 27-year-old on occasions, praised him for his shot-making ability. The Warriors played hard enough in spurts, and their two elite scorers mattered more than the Spurs' one. Portland need this game or they will be in serious trouble headed to the Big Easy.
"I was really happy with their execution, and their aggressiveness", Popovich said of his players.
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