Friday, April 08, 2016

#70 and #1

Golden State Warriors with a "convincing" win over the Spurs became the second team in NBA history to record their 70th victory in a season.  Perhaps more importantly, they secured the #1 seed and home court throughout the playoffs.

They also avoided back to back losses, and Steph Curry's shooting recovered. They took advantage of a Spurs injury to run a big lead.

These teams each have a game with another opponent before they meet again in San Antonio.  The Warriors visit S.A. again one day after a game in another city.  According to their coaches, the Spurs will rest their starters for the next game (in Denver) before returning them against the Warriors at home.  Popovich says this strategy has nothing to do with the opponent, nor the home winning streak.  Sure.  Right.

However, with the #1 seed accomplished, the Warriors will meet as a team Friday to decide if any of the starters will be held back from the next three games.  If it is up to the players (and it seems to be at the moment) then it's not likely.

So Golden State has to beat Memphis twice, a dangerous team and the kind that the Warriors have fallen to this season.  In between, a day after their game in Memphis Saturday, they go to San Antonio.  They must win out to break the record. Smart money is on them losing in San Antonio (although if they run out to a big lead, those Spurs starters might get another rest.)  But if the Warriors win in San Antonio Sunday it could well be the biggest regular season victory in their history.

Meanwhile, the San Francisco Giants took their home opener against the Dodgers.  The Dodgers had shut out the Padres for their first three games, and in this game were an inning shy of the record for consecutive shutout innings to open the season.  But once the Giants scored, they kept on going, and won 12-6.  Hunter Pence hit a grand slam in the eighth (their big homer inning so far this year), Joe Panik tripled, Kelby Tomlinson had a pinch hit single, and the Giants had 17 hits. Jake Peavy started, had 5 labored innings, and Chris Heston won in relief.

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