The San Antonio Spurs got the added energy Gregg Popovich wanted against the Golden State Warriors and a stellar performance from Tony Parker that they desperately needed.
Now the Golden State Warriors must win 2 in a row to keep the San Antonio Spurs from returning to the Western Conference finals.
Tony Parker had 25 points and 10 assists, and the Spurs held the Warriors’ starting backcourt to 13 points for a 109-91 victory to take a 3-2 lead in their topsy-turvy playoff series.
Despite being outworked and trailing by as many as 18 points in the 2nd half, Golden State coach Mark Jackson believes his team can rebound and win Game 6 at home and force a Game 7 in San Antonio on Sunday.
”It’s doable,” Jackson said. ”Obviously, we have a tremendous amount of respect for them. They’re a heck of a basketball team. We talked about it being a long series. If we won tonight, it’d be attainable for them to win 2 games. Two pretty good teams going at it. We look forward to going back home, playing our type of basketball and putting the pressure back on them.”
The Warriors must put added stress on Parker, particularly.
The All-Star point guard was 9 for 16 from the field while continually attacking Golden State’s interior defense for layups and short jumpers when he was not finding open teammates. Parker’s 10 assists came with just 2 turnovers in 34 minutes.
”It’s big for all of us,” Tim Duncan said of Parker’s penetration. ”It’s big for him to get some easy ones and he is not just shooting jump shots all night. It’s big for us because it falls down their defense. He is a wanting and willing passer. He wants to draw everyone in. He wants to find our shooters.
”That’s one thing we’ve done all year long. He gets to the basket a couple of times, suddenly everyone’s head starts to get on a swivel.” Kawhi Leonard added 17 points, Danny Green scored 16 and Duncan had 14 points and 11 rebounds for San Antonio Spurs.
Parker’s play also seemed to impact Curry’s offense, too. Scores
”When Tony had it up top, I let him get to his right and that is his strength,” Curry said. ”A shortage of discipline on my end. I think that I held my own in the first 4 games, but tonight I wasn’t locked in. That is inexcusable. This is a big game. I dropped the ball.”
Harrison Barnes scored 25 points, Jarrett Jack added 20 and Carl Landry 16 for Golden State Warriors, but Curry was held to 9 points.
”I was terrible, plain and simple,” Curry said. ”They outplayed us as a team. Individually, I didn’t have anything on either end. (I was) a step slow, my shot wasn’t falling and I was trying to make plays but defensively I lost a little focus.”
The Spurs held Jackson’s self-proclaimed ”best shooting backcourt” in NBA history to 6-for-22 shooting. Curry was 1 for 7 on 3-pointers, while Klay Thompson was held to 4 points while not even attempting a 3.