It was looking suspect for a while. But eventually, point guard Stephen Curry took over and the Warriors put away San Antonio’s second string.
Curry finished with 35 points on 13 of 23 shooting (including 7 3-pointers). He knocked down 6 3-pointers in the second half, sending Oracle into a frenzy, chanting “Cur-ry! Cur-ry! Cur-ry!” Eventually, the Warriors put away the Spurs, who played without Tim Duncan, Tony Parker, Manu Ginobili, Kawhi Leonard and Boris Diaw.
Here is the breakdown:
* The Warriors can clinch the No. 6 seed with a win over Portland on Wednesday. That’s because the Suns upset the visiting Rockets, shifting the control to Golden State. Portland, who play Tuesday at the Los Angeles Clippers, has lost 11 straight.
* The win also eliminated the Warriors from getting the No. 8 seed. They can no longer finished tied with the Lakers, who would have the tie-breaker advantage. The lowest Golden State can fall is No. 7.
* A loss to Portland doesn’t necessarily mean the No. 7. It would take Houston also beating the host Lakers. The Warriors and Rockets would be tied and Houston won the tie-breaker. But the Lakers now need that game. A win by the home team would not only clinch a playoff spot, but also push them to the No. 7 seed and drop Houston to No. 8. The Lakers probably prefer to face San Antonio than Oklahoma City
* Denver edged Milwaukee to put itself in the driver’s seat for the No. 3 seed. A win and the Nuggets will be No. 3. A loss and the they could lead to a drop to No. 4. The Nuggets own the tie-breaker over Memphis.
* The Clippers could still get the No. 3 seed if they win their last two games (home vs. Portland, at Sacramento) and the Nuggets lose at home to Phoenix. The Clippers would win the tie-breaker by being the division winner.
* Memphis is no longer an option for a first-round opponent. Denver’s win eliminated the Grizzlies chances of getting the No. 3 seed. A Denver loss and a Grizzlies in leaves them tied, but Denver holds the tie-breaker.
* So the Warriors’ three playoff options at this point is Denver, Los Angeles Clippers or San Antonio.