Spurs versus Warriors Game 1: A robbery in broad daylight

Spurs versus Warriors game 1 recap

Golden State comes out on top in Spurs versus Warriors Game 1.

San Antonio lost Kawhi Leonard to a sprained ankle and they also lost Spurs versus Warriors game 1. Man, it seems like Spurs can’t take a break lately. They managed to make Golden State look vulnerable after 8 dominant games. Up by 25 points, it looked like the Game 1 win was in the bag. Of course, life has a way of unexpectedly hitting you with haymakers. In this game, it was a truly despicable play by Zaza Pachulia that sealed the Spurs’ fate.

A dominant first half

The first half of Spurs versus Warriors game 1 was one of the most surreal basketball that I’d ever seen. Kawhi Leonard was spectacular on both ends of the floor and San Antonio couldn’t seem to do no wrong. The Warriors looked like they were deer caught in the headlights of a 10-wheeler truck. LaMarcus Aldridge seemingly couldn’t be stopped in the paint by Golden State’s big men. As for the Spurs’ bench, they were again phenomenal and made shots when they mattered.

At the half, Leonard had already amassed a truly impressive stat-line. He had 18 points, 8 rebounds, and 3 assists. More importantly, he was shredding the Warriors defense like it was nothing. He had a couple of drives to the heart of Golden State’s defense which ended with thunderous slams. Additionally, his activity allowed LaMarcus Aldridge a lot of space to operate in the post. Aldridge finished the half with 17 points, 4 rebounds, and 3 assists. By this point, Golden State was utterly flummoxed by what the Spurs were doing.

A dirty play and Golden State takes the lead

Fortunately for Golden State, a “dirty play” by Zaza Pachulia allowed them to take out Kawhi Leonard from the game. While challenging Leonard’s jump shot, Pachulia appeared to take an unnecessary step into the area where the Spurs’ forward’s right foot was supposed to land. Leonard did land on Pachulia’s foot which then resulted in his right ankle getting sprained. Now at this point, Leonard was already nursing a left ankle sprain. He managed to drain the two free throws but was then taken out of the game.

After this, Spurs versus Warriors game 1 became a tighter affair. Golden State managed to claw back from the San Antonio’s 25-point lead to end the 3rd quarter trailing by only 9 points. The Spurs still made a game of it though as they held on to the lead for most of the 4th. However, not having Leonard on the floor meant that no one could check Kevin Durant. The former MVP proceeded to do what Leonard did to his team in the first half. Durant went on to finish the game with 34 points while Stephen Curry managed 40.

Spurs versus Warriors Game 1 ends in heartbreak for San Antonio

Right now, it’s looking like the San Antonio Spurs will end up losing this series. While they could survive a game or two without Kawhi Leonard, I don’t think its possible for an extended time. Remember, this is the guy who’s been carrying the team on both offense and defense. Without him on the floor today, the Spurs got outscored 71-49 in the second half. To say that he was sorely missed is an understatement.

So, what should the San Antonio do after the Spurs versus Warriors Game 1 heartbreak? Well, I’ve really no idea. They can go back to what they did in Game 6 of the Western Conference semi finals against the Rockets. Dump the ball early and often to LaMarcus Aldridge in the post. The thing is, the Warriors will be expecting that. They’ll likely have double-teams ready and they’ll look to pressure the Spurs’ ball handlers as well. Regardless of Leonard’s injury, I still expect San Antonio to win a game or two against the Warriors. Additionally, this Western Conference Finals series is still going to be good.

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