Published: Thu, May 18, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Popovich talks Aldridge, Spurs Game 2 loss: 'I don't think they believed'

Popovich talks Aldridge, Spurs Game 2 loss: 'I don't think they believed'

Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs needed to come out with guns blazing after the heartbreaking loss in Game 1, but they came out flat and absolutely paid for it as they found themselves down by double digits in a blink of an eye.

The Warriors' shot an impressive 56 per cent from the field and 49 per cent from behind the three point line, with Stephen Curry leading the way with 29 points. The Spurs haven't rebounded from a 0-2 deficit to win a playoff series since overcoming the New Orleans Hornets in seven games in the Western semifinals in 2008.

The Golden State Warriors and the San Antonio Spurs clash in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals at the AT&T Center on Saturday.

The Golden State Warriors will be looking to take a commanding 3-0 series lead after crushing the Spurs by 136-100 in Game 2 on Tuesday. Those 136 points were the most allowed by a Gregg Popovich-coached team in a playoff game.

Popovich said the Spurs were "feeling sorry for themselves" after the controversial loss of Leonard, injured in Sunday's game one when he landed on the foot of Warriors' centre Zaza Pachulia in what the coach deemed a unsafe and unsportsmanlike play. "It made sense, especially with Kawhi not playing tonight, and he stepped up and had a big game for us". "That's just being a lot more alert defensively to start and just making them work". Even so, our defense could even promote the tempo that we wanted to get to.

Warriors reserve Patrick McCaw took advantage of 27 minutes of playing time to chip in with 18 points. In fact, the best player for the Spurs was actually Jonathan Simmons who scored 22 points on eight of 17 shooting.

"It looked pretty collective to me". I think we maybe felt it too much, Kawhi being gone. "The truth always quote-un-quote sets you free". The Warriors played without SF Andre Iguodala (sore left knee), then lost C Zaza Pachulia to a heel injury in the first quarter. That's pretty lame. So, call it like it is.

The Spurs were never appreciably closer in the second half. We felt with him, we had really good chances.

"LaMarcus has got to score for us", Popovich said. Even after his 40-point performance in the Warriors' Game 1 comeback. I don't know how he does it, but he does it every game.

Golden State quickly established its pass-happy, up-tempo style to take the Spurs out from the opening tip. Kevin Durant and Draymond Green added 16 and 13, respectively, in fewer minutes than usual. Ian Clark and Shaun Livingston also shined, with ten points apiece.

Sure, the Warriors just pulled off a 36-point thrashing of the Spurs two days after squeaking out a 113-111 victory in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals - their second-largest postseason win behind a game from 1948 when the Philadelphia Warriors won by 39 at St. Louis.

Popovich had no guess about Leonard's status for Game 3, saying it would likely be decided as late as Friday or Saturday.

"I have no idea. I'm disappointed", Popovich said. "I'd probably list him as questionable".

The coach admitted "the thing that worries me is that he did it again [in Game 1], the exact same thing. I think he's got a major responsibility in Game 3 to come out and get something done, whether it's for himself or his teammates". But I don't know. Ultimately, the Spurs aren't going to be able to compete offensively without Kawhi. After he went 1 for 8 and missed all six of his 3s in the first game, he finally hit from long range midway through the second Tuesday.

Kerr is recovering from a May 5 procedure at Duke University to fix a spinal fluid leak and Mike Brown has been coaching during his absence, but the reigning NBA Coach of the Year has been attending practices again and addressing the team in the locker room while watching games behind the scenes. The Warriors notched their fourth 30-assist game this postseason.

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