Spurs to take control of series with Warriors

12May 2013

NBA

 

Game four between the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors is live on Sky Sports, and Sumeet Paul says both teams will be desperate to clinch a win at this  critical stage of the series...

 

Having split the opening two games of this thrilling series in Texas, the San Antonio Spurs responded in Game 3 to wrestle back the initiative from the Golden State  Warriors at the Oracle Arena.

 

Behind 32 points from Tony Parker, Gregg Popovich's men were able to take a 2-1 series lead, and will be buoyed by their improved defensive display which saw them  limit the Warriors to below 100 points for the first time in three games.

 

While their point guard excelled, Golden State will be anxious to see whether theirs is fit enough to even take to the court on Sunday night with Stephen Curry  suffering from on-going concerns with his left ankle.

 

Having sprained it in Game 2 against the Denver Nuggets in the previous round, the 25-year-old landed awkwardly on it again last time out and despite limping around he  was able to stay in the game.

 

Coach Mark Jackson knows his presence and shooting ability is imperative to their chances of winning, and although he remains a game-time decision, Curry is confident  he will be deemed fit enough to feature.

 

Parker also has injury concerns after suffering a bruised calf, so neutrals will be hoping both men can recover in time in order to prevent the entertainment factor  being drastically reduced.

 

Both Curry and backcourt team-mate Klay Thompson have been responsible for the Warriors' dazzling shooting displays throughout the post season, but both came up short  on Friday night as the Spurs outdid their rivals 50.6 to 39.3 percent shooting from the field.

 

However, Popovich stressed that it was just "one of those nights" that his team managed to shoot better than their opponents, providing further credence to the  unpredictable and fascinating nature of this match-up.

 

In short, the Warriors' chances of tying this series heavily rely on whether Curry will feature. Having wrongly been denied an All-Star call-up back in February, he  made an incredible NBA record 272 3-pointers in the regular season.

 

Golden State went 2-2 without him during that time, which included a 95-88 loss to San Antonio in January. While he may not be fully fit, his mere presence will help  to open up the floor for his team-mates to benefit.

 

They will undoubtedly remain competitive without him, but to overcome San Antonio they will need him at his best and it will be interesting to see how much the ankle  bothers him and affects his shooting.

 

In contrast, the Spurs have championship pedigree and know exactly what to do at this stage of the season with wily veterans such as Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili.  Having improved at both ends of the court in Game 3, they will be confident of a repeat performance on Sunday.

 

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Keywords: Spurs, Warriors

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