As intimidating and overwhelming as the Golden State Warriors 52-5 record has been this season, the San Antonio Spurs (49-9) are nipping at Stephen Curry and his gang’s heels and still capable of upending the defending NBA champions before the close of the regular season.
Picking up right where they left off in the first-half of the season, the Spurs have ripped off a four-game post All-Star break road winning streak to sit only 3.5 games back of the Warriors for the best record in the league and the Western Conference.
Neither side has lost at home this season, making home-court advantage throughout the postseason crucial in a possible West Finals matchup. The Warriors have gone 24-0 at Oracle Arena this season and dating back to last year have taken 42 straight, while San Antonio is 28-0 this year with a 37-game streak at AT&T Center to boot.
With both appearing invincible at home, all this may boil down to how each fares on the road and in their three matchups beginning next month and in April. The Spurs will first play host to the Warriors on Saturday, March 19, and then Golden State welcomes them on April 7 before a return back to San Antonio on April 10.
Forwards Kawhi Leonard and LaMarcus Aldridge, now fully supplanting Tony Parker and Tim Duncan in the team’s driver seat on both ends of the floor, will now try to improve the Spurs 21-9 road record with 11 left away and only 13 left at home compared to Golden State’s 17 remaining at the Oracle.
Outside of their pending duels with the Warriors, the Spurs have several difficult matchups remaining this year. Of San Antonio’s final 24 games, 17 will be against teams currently in the postseason, including three against the current No. 3-seed Thunder as they try to cut into the Spurs eight-game lead for No. 2.
Leonard, who missed the Spurs first three games after the All-Star break, returned from a sore left calf earlier this week to score 18 points and make four steals in a 108-92 win at Sacramento and followed up by burying 10 of his 15 shot attempts for 29 points at Utah on Thursday.
Leonard, the reigning Defensive Player of the Year, has likely circled the next matchup against Golden State after Curry embarrassed him several times during Jan. 25’s 120-90 blowout and the sharpshooting guard has proven to be even hotter from the field since then.
The NBA’s leading scorer and deadliest shooter just lit up Orlando for 51 points, marking his second 50-point outing in February and third overall this season. Curry’s been hot from all over the floor as Golden State’s gone 9-1 this month. He’s shot 54.5 percent overall and 50.5 percent from three-point range for 35.7 points, 5.9 rebounds, and 7.4 assists over 34.2 minutes.
Spurs Next 5 Games and TV Schedule (All times Eastern)
Saturday, Feb. 27 at Houston, 8 p.m. (KENS HD)
Wednesday, March 2 vs. Detroit, 8 p.m (Fox Sports Southwest, ESPN)
Thursday, March 3 at New Orleans, 8 p.m. (TNT)
Saturday, March 5 vs. Sacramento 8:30 p.m. (Fox Sports Southwest)
Monday, March 7 at Indiana 7 p.m. (Fox Sports Southwest)