Saturday’s nationally televised Golden State at San Antonio contest now has a lot more at stake than the top two teams in the West meeting for only the second time this season. Both clubs now are separated by a single game in the loss column.
“Every time we play them, it’s like a playoff atmosphere,” said Golden State Forward Draymond Green after his team’s 103-102 loss Friday at Minnesota. It was the Wolves’ first win over Golden State this season.
The Warriors clinched a playoff spot February 25, the second straight season they have made the playoffs in February, and the club’s fifth straight playoff appearance. “My only job is to have our guys healthy and ready for the playoffs,” said Coach Steve Kerr prior to Friday’s game.
However, since Kevin Durant suffered a MCL sprain three days after they clinched, the team has struggled to maintain its previous dominance. With Steph Curry’s miss with five seconds left in Friday’s defeat — the team’s second straight loss this week — Golden State is now 0-of-8 on potential go-ahead shots in the final 10 seconds this season.
“We’re in a tough stretch right now,” admitted Green to the MSR. As a result, the Warriors hope to salvage the back end of a back-to-back Saturday night in San Antonio, part of their eight-game road trip, an estimated total of 11,000 flight miles or a round trip from Oakland to China.
“It’s never fun to lose two in a row,” said Warriors Guard Klay Thompson.
“Change is going to come,” predicted Golden State’s Andre Iguodala.
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