Bruised Warriors Looking to Corral Spurs

With a 2-1 series lead, the San Antonio Spurs are in the driving seat.

With a 2-1 series lead, the San Antonio Spurs are in the driving seat.

As a franchise, the Golden State Warriors have lost their last four Western Conference semifinals series 4-1. A loss in Game 4 will make a fifth five-game elimination look like a very real possibility.

Trailing the San Antonio Spurs 2-1, the Warriors will look to even the series in the only game on Sunday’s NBA slate. Tip-off is scheduled for 3:30 pm ET from Oracle Arena in Oakland, Calif.

Series Recap

San Antonio fought back from an 18-point deficit in Game 1, forcing the Warriors to double overtime. Stephen Curry tallied 44 points for the Warriors, continuing his meteoric rise to superstardom during this postseason. It wasn’t enough though as the Spurs took the game 129-127 on a buzzer-beating Manu Ginobli 3-pointer.

Having let Game 1 slip away, the Warriors made sure to hold on to the lead in Game 2, riding Klay Thompson’s 34-point effort to a 100-91 victory. The result marked the Warriors’ first win in San Antonio since Feb. 14, 1997, snapping a 29-game skid.

With the series switching to Oakland, questions began to surface as to whether the Spurs had enough to handle the upstart Warriors. Tony Parker and Tim Duncan answered those questions with a resounding ‘yes’, leading San Antonio to a 102-92 win.

San Antonio is now just two wins from an 11th Western Conference finals appearance, while Golden State will be up against the wall in its bid for a first conference finals appearance since 1976.

After re-injuring his left ankle, Stephen Curry is a game-time decision on Sunday.

After re-injuring his left ankle, Stephen Curry is a game-time decision on Sunday.

Injury Update

Golden State fans left Friday’s Game 3 with butterflies in their stomachs as Curry re-aggravated his left ankle late in the fourth quarter, finishing the game with a noticeable limp.

Curry – who has had a breakout postseason – injured his ankle early in the first round series with Denver, but played through pain to lead the Warriors to success. Having undergone treatment on Saturday, he’ll be a game-time decision on Sunday.

Curry has had a couple of down games after starting the series with a 44-point barrage, but the four-year guard has proven this season he can get hot at any moment. The Warriors without Curry are a very different prospect.

After giving the team one motivational minute in Game 6 of the first round, David Lee (torn right hip flexor) returned for three minutes against the Spurs in Game3. This time, his inspirational appearance failed to propel his team onto victory. Five points and two rebounds were food numbers for such a short span, but Lee is obviously nowhere near full strength. He’ll be another game-time decision come tip-off.

For a moment it looked like San Antonio might be in a spot of trouble also. Warriors’ center Andrew Bogut collided with Spurs’ guard Tony Parker late in the fourth quarter, bumping his calf muscle in the process.

Like Curry, Parker finished the game limping, potentially looking like a scratch for Sunday’s game. Parker though as subsequently confirmed he’ll be in action for Game 4.

Just who is the favorite heading into Game 4?

Just who is the favorite heading into Game 4?

Betting Options

With Curry a game-time decision, the betting lines have been flipped on their heads.

Golden State opened as a narrow favorite (-1.5) but most bookmakers are now offering San Antonio (-1.5) as the favorite. Some though are sticking with the Warriors, which means shopping around is worthwhile on this particular Mother’s Day.

San Antonio (5-2-0 ATS) covered the spread (+2.5) as an underdog in Friday’s Game 3, marking the first time this postseason Golden State (8-1-0 ATS) failed to cover.

The Warriors are 5-0-0 ATS at Oracle Arena this postseason, while the Spurs are 3-0-0 ATS on the road.

It’s worth considering, the underdog has covered the spread in every game this series. But then again, who really is the dog heading into this one?

The total opened at 201.5, but that has been trending downwards, with some bookies offering 198.5 this morning.

Both San Antonio (3-4-0) and Golden State (4-5-0) have favored the under during the playoffs, a trend that has passed to the series, where Game 1 went over but Games 2 and 3 went under.

For further analysis of this game, click here.

 

Schedule

GAME 1: Golden State 127, San Antonio 129 (2OT)

GAME 2: Golden State 100, San Antonio 91

GAME 3: San Antonio 102, Golden State 92

GAME 4: San Antonio at Golden State (Sun, May 12, 3:30 pm ET)

GAME 5: Golden State at San Antonio (Tue, May 14, 9:30 pm ET)

GAME 6: San Antonio at Golden State (Thu, May 16, TBD)*

GAME 7: Golden State at San Antonio (Sun, May 19, TBD)*

*If necessary

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