The Golden State Warriors entered Game 1 of their Western Conference Semifinals series having lost 29 straight road games to the San Antonio Spurs. That run of futility covers many games over many different seasons, with various coaches and players employing different approaches to try to grab a win. That streak is not a mark on the Warriors as a franchise — it does, however, prove just how difficult it has been to beat the Spurs in the time that Gregg Popovich and Tim Duncan have led the team. On Monday night, the Warriors found out just how tough it can be yet again.
After blowing a 16-point lead over the last 4:31 of regulation to allow San Antonio to take the game to overtime, Golden State soldiered through two overtimes to have a chance to win. With the Spurs up 126-125 and 10 seconds left in the second extra period, the Warriors turned a missed Tony Parker lay-up into a 3-on-2 fast break that culminated in Stephen Curry (who played all but four seconds of the game's 58 minutes) finding little-used rookie Kent Bazemore for a streaking lay-up with 3.9 seconds remaining. It was a shocking moment, one in which a player best known for his explosive bench celebrations brought his team within a few ticks of the clock of escaping a very rough defeat.
It wasn't to be. Following a Spurs timeout, Kawhi Leonard found a wide-open Manu Ginobili off the inbounds pass to bury a three-pointer from the left wing to give his team a two-point lead. The Warriors could only manage an off-balance Jarrett Jack three-pointer on the ensuing possession, and the Spurs came away with a crazy 129-127 win. It was another great playoff moment in Ginobili's Hall-of-Fame career, particularly after going 4-of-19 from the field the rest of the game and missing a potential game-winner at the end of the first overtime.
[Also: Bulls' Nate Robinson shrugs off stitches, stands up to Heat]
Yet this finish was only one part of a wildly entertaining, up-and-down contest. Join us after the jump for the bigger picture of what went down, including analysis of just how Ginobili got so open on his winning shot, the Danny Green three-pointer that sent the game to overtime, and the Warriors' third-quarter run that built up their lead in the first place.
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