OAKLAND — If ever there was a team that could take a beating like this one and have it mean absolutely nothing in the end, it’s the San Antonio Spurs.
So in that sense, what the Golden State Warriors did to coach Gregg Popovich & Co. on Monday night at Oracle Arena can only mean so much. Even with the absurd margin of defeat (120-90), or the fact that the latest Stephen Curry Show (37 points) came against a defense that has been far and away the best in the NBA this season, this was still Jan. 25. Game No. 45 for both teams — no matter how incredible they’d both been to this point.
The Warriors have every reason to flash an ear-to-ear grin while putting this one in their back pocket, as they not only played stifling defense (41.9% shooting for the Spurs) but managed to improve their home record to 21-0 while breaking the Spurs’ 13-game winning streak. But there was a certain beauty in the Spurs’ reaction afterward, the kind of thing that offered a reminder of why they remain the NBA blueprint when it comes to building a healthy culture and why some other organizations with top-tier teams (here’s looking at you, Cleveland Cavaliers) still have a long way to go. Credit Popovich with the assist.