Steve Kerr Halftime Speech Inspires Warriors' Game 1 Comeback Win Over Spurs

Rufina Vignone
Mag 17, 2017

That's not to say he's not a talented basketball player - he simply doesn't have the finesse people are used to seeing from guys like Stephen Curry, who just has a way of stringing his dribble moves together in a flawless, connected manner. "I wouldn't call it smooth sailing at all. It's about defense right now: got to play better defense, make [fewer] mistakes, and we'll be good". "So we're a little out of sorts because we're trying to push it, trying to push it".

"When it's crunch time, it was nice to get that feeling where we kind of overcame some rough patches and found a way to get it done", Curry said afterward. "Hopefully he plays next game and his ankle gets better". The Spurs said nothing officially after the game about Leonard, but it's hard to imagine him playing in Game 2 on Tuesday based on the postgame reports.

Durant scored 10 straight points during a key fourth-quarter stretch on the way to 34 points, while Zaza Pachulia had 11 points and nine rebounds. LaMarcus Aldridge produced another clutch playoff performance with 28 points and eight boards. He was back Saturday for another game-planning session before practice.

The Warriors played with more energy and precision to start the second half, then Leonard left the game in the third quarter after re-injuring his ankle, and the Warriors immediately went on an 18-0 explosion that changed everything.

Leonard first went down after stepping on a teammate's foot along the bench after taking a shot.

Whether the Spurs will have Leonard available is unknown.

Losing Leonard could be the story of this series, though coach Gregg Popovich had no update except that Leonard hurt the same foot. While they've had great individual moments throughout the season, Sunday's win was a defining moment in the Curry-Durant partnership that appears to be primed to erase the playoff disappointments of last season on their way to a second championship in three seasons for the Warriors.

In 70 regular season appearances, Pachulia averaged 6.1 points, 5.9 rebounds and 1.9 assists in 18.1 minutes, shooting 53.4 percent from the field and 77.8 percent from the free throw line. But this team has already looked down and out in the playoffs this year, being embarrassed by a 3-point swishing Rockets team at times in their last series.

"It's a tough break".

"We need Kawhi to create, to score", Manu Ginobili said after the game. Durant hit another 3 at the 6:10 mark and a jumper the next time down before Shaun Livingston's driving dunk. "With the team that we have, the veteran guys, their composure, and then the firepower, we know that we're always going to have a chance".

The Warriors showed some life after the intermission, which included not only encouraging words from acting head coach Mike Brown but the man he has temporarily replaced, Steve Kerr.

Yet for much of the afternoon, the Spurs outplayed the mighty Warriors on both ends of the floor.

On Sunday, dressed in jeans and Warriors sweatshirt, Kerr watched the first half from the bowels of the Oracle Arena.

Spurs: Patty Mills, a college star at nearby Saint Mary's, struggled in place of the injured Tony Parker - out for the remainder of the playoffs with a leg injury. Green received his second technical of the postseason when he celebrated a third-quarter steal and referee Marc Davis penalized him. He was efficient and disciplined-four turnovers yet no fouls-methodically navigating Golden State's comeback after San Antonio's lead bulged to 25 points midway through the second quarter.

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