National Basketball Association
Golden State at San Antonio
When: 9:30 PM ET, Thursday, April 19, 2018
Where: AT&T Center, San Antonio, Texas
The San Antonio Spurs have their backs against the wall and badly need a victory when they host the Golden State Warriors on Thursday. The Spurs dropped the first two games of the best-of-seven series by an average of 18 points and will be without coach Gregg Popovich for Game 3 after his wife, Erin, died on Wednesday.
Seventh-seeded San Antonio is having trouble matching up with the second-seeded Warriors - not having star forward Kawhi Leonard (quadriceps) isn't helping matters - but the players insist they can still make it a series. "We're not going to roll over," power forward LaMarcus Aldridge told reporters. "We've got to take the mentality that we had (in Game 2), trying to take the fight to them. ... I feel like it should be good for us going home, but we've got to take the same intensity from (Monday) home with us." Golden State's offense is clicking despite the absence of star guard Stephen Curry (knee) as the squad averaged 114.5 points over the first two games. Shooting guard Klay Thompson is averaging 29 points in the series and Kevin Durant is contributing 28 per game.
9:30 p.m. ET, TNT, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), FS Southwest (San Antonio)ABOUT THE WARRIORS:
Thompson is 10-of-14 from 3-point range in the series and 23-of-33 overall and coach Steve Kerr said part of Thompson's sharpness is due to missing eight games in March with a broken right thumb. The thinking goes that Thompson was able to rest the remainder of his body while the thumb was healing and is much fresher than he would typically be at this time of year. "Any time you can take a few games off, unfortunately it hurts when you do, but in the long run, we try to play till June every season," Thompson told reporters. "So I think it will help out in the long run."ABOUT THE SPURS:
Assistant coach Ettore Messina will run the club in the wake of the death of Erin Popovich, who died at age 67 after a long illness. Meanwhile, Leonard is away from the team in New York rehabbing his injury and one of Gregg Popovich's comments about Aldridge after Game 2 seemed like at least a partial shot at the two-time All-Star. "LaMarcus has been a monster all year long," Popovich told reporters. "He's led our team at both ends of the floor. He doesn't complain about a darned thing out on the court. He just plays through everything. I can't imagine being more proud of a player as far as playing through adversity and being there for his teammates night after night after night. He's been fantastic."BUZZER BEATERS
1. The Warriors have won 10 of their past 11 games against the Spurs, including a four-game sweep in last season's Western Conference finals.
2. Aldridge had 34 points and 12 rebounds in Game 2 after struggling to 14 points and two rebounds in the series opener.
3. Golden State backup PF David West (ankle) is expected to be available for Game 3.PREDICTION:
Warriors 109, Spurs 104
Stats and Records