With 4:49 remaining in the fourth quarter, the San Antonio Spurs were less than five minutes away from taking a commanding 3-1 series lead over the Golden State Warriors Sunday in Oracle Arena.
Then, the Spurs held an 80-72 lead over the Warriors, but a change was coming for the silver and black. In those final 4:49 minutes the Spurs went cold and were outscored 12-4 as the Warriors forced overtime.
Once overtime began, the Spurs fell silent as Jarrett Jack and the Warriors outscored the Spurs 13-3 to win game four 97-87 and tie the series at two games apiece.
"They're a bunch of Warriors,” said Warriors coach Mark Jackson after the game, “no pun intended." Jackson’s Warriors had an early five point lead but then the Spurs were able to build their lead up to 11, where they held a 7-9 point lead for a majority of the game.
"One thing I know,” said Jackson of his team, “this team will not lay down. They won't quit. It looked dark. It looked awfully dark, but we found a way."
After the Spurs were the ones who made the comeback in game one and forced double overtime, the Warriors looked like the veteran squad making the comeback as they didn’t turn the ball over at all in the final quarter or overtime period.
With Warriors star Stephen Curry playing on a hobbled ankle and Kawhi Leonard virtually taking Klay Thompson out of the game at times, Jackson needed someone to step up Sunday, rookie Harrison Barnes heard his coach’s call and delivered Sunday.
"We needed our wing players to be aggressive,” said Jackson of Barnes Sunday. “The guy has grown up before our eyes." Though Barnes’ shooting numbers didn’t look great (9-of-26 from the field), he led the Warriors with 26 points and always found a way to answer San Antonio whether it was a drive to the basket, making a critical jump shot, or keeping possessions alive with his rebounding (10 rebounds).
"Tonight, Barnes and Jack were tremendous," added Spurs head Coach Gregg Popovich Sunday. Jack too was the Warriors’ go-to man in the fourth quarter and overtime, as he finished the game with 24 points. Jack was the catalyst in the Warriors’ late quarter run in the fourth.
"In overtime we just stopped scoring,” said Spurs guard Manu Ginobili after the game. “We kept running our same plays and they didn't fall. They just made every shot."
For the Spurs, there were a number of issues Sunday even though they held the lead for the majority of the game: missed shots, turnovers, missed free throws, and the biggest of them all, rebounding.
"If you make shots you win,” said Popovich summing up the game. His team looked a little tired down the stretch, but he said that was apparent from both squads.
"They executed and they made some shots,” continued Popovich of the Warriors to close the game out on a 25-7 run when you combine the fourth quarter and overtime. “We didn't lose any aggressiveness," though he added of his team in the extra period.
Though they received many wide open opportunities, the Spurs just couldn’t seem to consistently knock down any 3-pointers. Manu Ginobili began the game making his first four 3-pointers in a row, but even he cooled off in the second half as he would shoot 1-of-6 from distance the rest of the way. In the overtime, after being allowed a wide-open look, Ginobili aired a 3-pointer, a sign that might have shown some fatigue on his body.
"My last few shots were short,” said Ginobili after the game. “I don't know if I was tired or what?"
"27 is too much for us," said Popovich of his team shooting 7-of-27 from beyond the arc Sunday.
Another area where the Spurs failed to convert on Sunday was the free throw department. The team shot 14-of-25 from the charity stripe Sunday (56%), an area they normally shoot close to 80%.
"I don't have a secret answer for that,” said Ginobili off all the missed free throws, “sometimes you make them, sometimes you miss."
Even Popovich couldn’t figure out why his team struggled so much from the free throw line.
"We missed them,” said Popovich of his team’s free throw shooting. “It's uncharacteristic. I don't know why (we missed them)?"
If there was one area the Spurs really lost the battle in, it was the rebounding department. The team actually played solid defense throughout the entire game (minus overtime) holding the Warriors to 19-18-23-24 points in consecutive quarters, along with forcing 18 turnovers, and limiting the Warriors to 38% shooting from the floor. But the Warriors used offensive rebounds throughout the night to gain extra possessions and score.
"Our biggest problem was defensive rebounds," said Ginobili after the game. The Spurs were out-rebounded 65-51overall, but gave up 19 offensive rebounds. Barnes and Andrew Bogut alone combined for 10 offensive boards.
Making baskets was a struggle for both squads as even the Spurs shot 36% overall from the field. The playmakers all had off nights as Ginobili finished with 21 points on 18 shots, Tim Duncan 19 points on 22 attempts, Tony Parker 17 points on 17 attempts, Leonard 17 points on 17 shots, and Danny Green 10 points on 13 attempts.
The Warriors were just as bad with Curry scoring 22 points on 15 shots and Klay Thompson scoring 10 points on 13 attempts.
As the series shifts back to San Antonio Tuesday for Game five, the Spurs know that even though they had a chance to take a commanding lead in the series, they did reach their goal of winning at least one of the weekend games in Oakland.
However, depending on the outcome of game five, Ginobili knows the team let one slip away Sunday.
"What is disappointing is we had them where we wanted and we blew it.” Will game four be a game that haunts San Antonio in the future of this series? Only Tuesday will tell.
Spurs fan i heard ya'll talking shit how u were gonna sweep us how we don't have a chance, and all i kept saying was its the playoff anything can happen and guess what Spurs look like they area scared. We lost game one and you all lost game 4 so we are even on that part now lets see who got it in them to go to the finals
@Kingsez408 I've been looking for your comments. You have some real guts to come on a spurs page and talk smack. Guess what?? YOU GOIN FISHING BOY!!!!!!!! YOU GOING FISHING!!! Klay Thompson couldn't do shit. We blew you out in back to back games and it was fucking amazing. Anything can happen, you are so right. I remember you saying no one on the spurs can guard Curry, not Kawhi, not Parker, not Green. But it was Green who played tough D on Curry after game 2. Did you see game 5???? Curry and Klay combine for like 13 points!!! BUAHAHAHAHAHA! That's called lock down defense right there. Now the spurs move on and the warriors are crying at home. Enjoy the offseason BITCH!
@ajd21 Naw just tired of you talking shit u keep talking i gotta respond. But i can say one thing since i have talked shit to you spurs fan i have never meet someone like you that called me names when i have not once said anything disrespectful to you bro. Yeah i talk shit that what sport fan do buddy. Learn to respect others buddy and u may go places good luck to your spurs in the playoff
You sound like a complete butt hurt warriors fan. You don't know if the spurs will disappear after Duncan and pop retire. The spurs could draft their next star this June. The spurs could land key free agents or make a worthy trade. There are so many possibilities that could happen. Saying, "The warriors are going to be here again, and again, and again. The spurs will drop off after pop and Duncan go," is one DUMBASS statement. Why are you still on our website? Are you so damn butt hurt your team lost you still need to talk shit to us? How much of a fucking loser are you?
@Kingsez408 watch closely tonight as this is all the warriors will ever get to is 2nd round
@Kingsez408 here we go with this guy again...I guess this will always be the highlight of your team....2 to 2 in the semi-conference finals...I would say act like you have been their before but your not old enough to remember...
The warriors are a great team that have many 1st round wins in them...lol
Are you happy know we paid you the respect your due...Beat us then talk trash till then your still that laughing stock of the league...
@ChrisCano Yes i am back Spurs fan. Laughing stock come now still don't get the respect we deserve but it all good we would rather earn it then accept it. You sund a little bitter kinda of remind me of Laker fan when Kobe went down, like oh we have 16 championship yada yada yada. I just came back here cause i remember how ya'll was saying that we gonna get sweep us and we are no match and all this stuff like i said before this is not Grandma Warriors y'all are use to seeing in the nba
@ajd21 I belong where ever i dam please enjoy this year cause it gonna be the last years the Spurs will be on top
Lmfao, we beat you by 12 in your own building. 12 points is blowing you out. Are you still bitching about this? Get off our page loser, you don't belong here.
@ajd21 First off let me congratulate the spurs on winning the series we gave them all we got. Second thing i needd to adress is Y'all only blew us out in game 5 buddy get your fact staight
@Kingsez408 Your little Warrior squad was no match for us. We blew you guys out two games in a row en route to eliminating you. TALK SHIT NOW!!!!
Yeah and the future for you guys is bright lol remember when Duccan goes so does Pop so don't talk to me about who future is brighter casue it's by far the warrior with most of our guy 25 and under. Curry played like 80 games this year so we aint worred. Sprained ankles is part of basketball sometimes u just can't avoid them, cause i know i rolled my ankles enough to know
@Kingsez408 the future of your franchise is on the ankle of curry, good luck with that! see you in another 8 years with a new catchy motto
@ChrisCano no lakers fan, i said beat us before you talk trash...when did i bring up our past i said this is a place you never been before...But before you talk trash you have to beat us and your far from that...The Run TMC warriors were far much better then what you have now, run around tell everyone how great your team someone will eventually someone will believe you
We either need to pay more guys or get younger. 3 years in a row, the legs have been the determining factor for this team. We get through the regular season using everyone and in the playoffs, we start strong, but when series get extended, we run out of gas.
We are still 1 or 2 skilled younger guys from a title, unless TP, TD, and Mnau get a 2nd wind, Tuesday will tell everything. This is the season.
Incidentally, R Richards scored another 31 and 9 boards, in the payoffs. Bring the young guys over . I GS can get to the 2nd round with 4 2 rookies and second year players, why are we so sure Bayne and co. can't handle the playoffs ? It is hard to watch your team lose because they are tired, and not less skilled or trying hard.
@jojo707 I agree. In the reg season we use everybody. In the playoffs, Pop changes strategy. Blair and Baynes both should have played. Especially when we have the lead like yesterday. Just let them play 5/10 minutes. Timmy gets a rest. They give the some extra power. Especially at home this should be done. I mean, 20.000 fans are cheering for them, that should help Baynes, Blair & co.
I still don't know why we didn't see Blair in there, especially after we were out-rebounded like we were...We needed something in the paint and watching splitter and Diaw play made me sick to my stomach...
Felt like we stopped attacking Bogut stood in the middle of the paint and dared Diaw and TD to shoot and they missed open jumpers. Couldn't figure out why they didn't take 2 or 3 dribbles in and then take a closer jumper. Also, SMH at the Parker Barnes match up. We are making him a star by putting parker and neal on him. They are not big enough to cover him. With Steph hurt, parker shoudl be able to deny him the ball andcrowd him on the 3 point line....if he gets a 2 fine, but he wasn't driving as much. Gren or Leonard on Barnes or Thompson. I just thik those are better match ups
@Coxcr20 Seems like Pop is deliberately trying to lose this game. Maybe trying to force a game 7 back in San Antonio. That why they can sell more tickets. Hehehe, if only this were true, the Spurs toying with Golden State. I was anxious about game 3, because the Spurs were outplayed in the first two games. But they came out harder and better than they did in games 1 and 2. If they can play with that intensity, with home court advantage this time, missing less free throws :p, I think the Spurs need to go up 3-2 Tuesday. Also, hopefully a little less nervous game, Spurs having a 10, 15 point lead or something like that :D
Lets not go and blame the refs.. thats a bad way to lose.. hopefully they can fix the shooting problem Kawhi was open 3 time and brick and he even missed a put back dunk. Refs has nothing to do with that, if we made at least 4 freethrows we wouldnt have this conveesation.
@LiveSpurs While I don't like the blame refs during losses I do blame them for blowing the call. It was out on Bogut and they wouldn't go back and review it even after Pop was telling them. Everyone in the arena and at home saw it and it should have been reviewed. Ref simply didn't want to and gave the last shot to GS instead. Now it's just the game of "what if?" now.
Gsw played dirty. Bogut nd lee held green and Diaw respectively during loose ball battles. Barnes pushed tp9 during a loose ball. Bogus stepped outta bounds during a crucial loose ball battle. Duncan blocked Barnes nd Barnes sent it outta bounds nd they called out on Duncan. Wtf get it right refs.