This played out in Thursday's first game in San Antonio as the Spurs reached 26 points in third quarter and were kept in check in the others - resulting in a Warriors win.
The Spurs weren't going to get swept. Though its odds of becoming the first team in National Basketball Association history to come back from a 3-0 series deficit are close to zero, San Antonio could at least delay an offseason filled with questions by winning Sunday. But a veteran squad like the Spurs is prideful and came to play Sunday, unwilling to let its season end.
The Warriors did not fare much better in the second quarter.
The Spurs forced the Warriors into tough shots, with a shot clock violation on one possession, and Aldridge put in a jumper following the turnover to give the Spurs a margin the Warriors wouldn't close in the final minutes.
The turnover split between the two teams early on was indicative of why the Spurs were in control of the game. Not only that, but the Spurs didn't make it easy on themselves. It has been anything but as they cruised to double digit wins in their first three games. But it's unclear what the Warriors will look like when that day arrives.
Durant led all scorers with 34 points on 12-of-28 shooting and added 13 rebounds but Thompson, guarded primarily by Danny Green, missed 12 of 16 shots and finished with only 12 points. Green was tenaciously cleaning up the boards for the Warriors.
DeRozan started 0 for 6, before winding up with 35 points, six assists and six rebounds. Gregg Popovich was home with his family following the death of his wife, and they hadn't played the defending champs close in the first three games.More news: Trump Rips Reporter for Asking About Pardoning Michael Cohen: 'Stupid Question'
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The Warriors continued to shoot poorly from the field. The Spurs built the lead to as many as 17 points in the first half. An eventual loss in the series will send the Spurs to an uncertain summer, one in which Popovich will be confronted with a number of on-the-court issues after a season of turmoil involving Kawhi Leonard's future.
Turnovers were continuing to derail the Warriors as well.
Aldridge, Gay, Ginobili and Parker all stepped up with timely baskets, helping propel the Spurs attack forward against the stout Warriors defense.
The Warriors refused to go away quietly, however. The Spurs were shooting the lights out for the first time this series. They shot 38% from the field and 25% on three point shots.
It took three straight blowouts, but the San Antonio Spurs finally woke up - and it didn't hurt that the Warriors' 3-point stroke went to sleep.
With speculation about whether he will retire after the season swirling again, Ginobili was asked if he thought it would be his last game as the fourth quarter began. They got to within 2 points of the Spurs about halfway through the quarter.