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San Antonio has Golden State on Brink of Elimination

Tonight game 6 of the best of seven semifinal series between the Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs will be played in Oakland, California in the Oracle Arena, the home court of the Warriors. The Spurs have the Warriors on the verge of elimination as they lead the series 3-2. The odds for this game can be found by clicking here.

The Spurs won game 5 in a rout 109-91, behind the superb play of veteran point guard Tony Parker who scored 25 points to continue has fine play during the series. Parker also dished out 10 assists on the night.

However, it will not be easy playing in Oracle Arena. The crowds there are deafening and it is one of the toughest places to play thus far in the post season. The key to tonight’s game for the Spurs will be the defensive play of both Kawhi Leonard and Danny Green. Both played exceptionally well on defense against the Golden State backcourt in game 5.

For Golden State, the keys will be Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson. The defense of San Antonio held the two to just 13 points in game 5 and did not allow Thompson to even take a 3-point shot the entire game. It was the first time this season Thompson has not even had a shot from 3-point range.

Curry has to return to form in game 6. In the two Golden State wins, Curry is scoring an average of 26 points, while that goes down to 23 points per game in the Warriors’ losses. His assists are also very important. He is averaging over 8 assists per game thus accounting for a number of the Golden State points.

In game 5, Curry accounted for just 27 points for the Warriors offense between his points scored and his assists. That number must increase in game 6 to at least 40 points if the Warriors hope to win and play a deciding game 7 in San Antonio.

Curry sprained his ankle in game 3 of the series. The tough sharpshooting point guard will not admit the ankle has caused his game to suffer, but it is obvious he has not been able to move laterally as it did before the injury and the Spurs defense has been able to contain him much better.

Look for the Warriors to bring center Andrew Bogut up to the foul line more often to set picks for Curry to free him to get his jumper against Leonard or Green.

San Antonio will try to keep Curry on one side or the other of the court since he is much more dangerous with the ball around the top of the key. If he is on either side of the court, the Spurs can cut down his great passing ability and his opportunities to shoot the ball.

Offensively the Spurs must keep going to Parker for both scoring and playmaking. Veteran center Tim Duncan has performed well for the Spurs in this series, as has Manu Ginobili who seems to have finally shaken off the ill effects of his different injuries this season.

The crowd at the Oracle Arena is worth at least 2 to 3 points for the Warriors in a close game. Look for the game to go to the wire, with the Spurs coming out victorious and moving on to face the touch Memphis Grizzlies who eliminated the Oklahoma City Thunder on Wednesday night.

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