SPURS VOW TO FIGHT BACK
Another loss likely to end San Antonio’s title dream
DESPITE forward Kawhi Leonard being uncertain with a sprained left ankle and two disheartening NBA playoff losses at Golden State, the San Antonio Spurs vowed on Thursday to fight back aggressively.
“You’ve got to be the aggressor. You’ve got to be sharp for 48 minutes and you’ve got to take it to them,” Spurs centre Pau Gasol said. “You’ve got to be the most physical team, the team that want it the most and play with that edge and that feeling the entire game.”
The Spurs are reeling after squandering a 25-point lead to lose the best-of-seven Western Conference final opener 113-111, top scorer Leonard going out in the process, and then being routed 136-100 by the Warriors in game two on Tuesday.
Golden State won 67 games this season, the only team to do better than San Antonio’s 61, and the Warriors were the NBA’s topscoring club. They are 10-0 in the playoffs this year and could match the best start in NBA playoff history with a victory in game three today at San Antonio.
The Spurs were the NBA’s top defensive squad, powered by two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year Leonard, who also averaged a career-high 25.5 points.
While the scene shifts from California to Texas, the Spurs realise that another loss likely spells doom for their title dreams.
“In a way it’s a game that you should be the most energised and ready to play, focused and with that edge, because you’re in a desperate position,” Gasol said.
“You’re a wounded animal and you should come out with everything you’ve got.
Spurs playmaker LaMarcus Aldridge was prodded by Spurs coach Gregg Popovich to score more, although he has faced two and three defenders at times with Leonard and star guard Tony Parker both out injured.
Gasol called for attacking the Warriors from the start and not letting up.
“We’re down 2-0 and this game is critical for us. We all are very aware of that. So our life depends on it. I mean, our basketball life, not, you know.” AFP