Five things we learned from Golden State's first two playoff wins

Golden State Warriors Andre Iguodala dribbles against San Antonio Spurs Patty Mills during the second quarter of Game 2 of their NBA first-round playoff series at Oracle Arena in Oakland Calif. on Monday

It started after San Antonio's Game 1 loss to Golden State when Popovich approached the podium and took exception to the Gatorade bottle's presence. After trailing by six points going into halftime, Golden State outscored San Antonio by double digits in each of the third and fourth quarters to run away with the victory. They have won 13 of the last 17 meetings in this series and also won and covered five of their last eight in San Antonio.

Gregg Popovich tried pressing some different buttons in Game 2 after Saturday's blowout loss. The Spurs know that if they can win game 3 then they begin to put some pressure back on the Warriors.

The Spurs return to the court Monday night, trying to even their opening-round series with the Warriors. Pictured, Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors cheers for his team from the bench during their game against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of Round 1 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at ORACLE Arena in Oakland, California, April 16, 2018. While Durant had a team-leading 32 points on 10-of-19 shooting, Thompson added 31 points on a 12-of-20 clip.

That response may have been full of well-deserved praise for Aldridge, who kept the Spurs in Monday's game with 34 points and 12 rebounds in 37 minutes, but Popovich was speaking to an audience of one: Kawhi Leonard, the league's best two-way player who has been absent from the Spurs' sideline.

Now, the series heads for San Antonio.

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The Philadelphia 76ers were the No. 3 merchandise seller in the National Basketball Association this regular season, behind only the Golden State Warriors and Cleveland Cavaliers, according to sales on the league's official online store released Tuesday morning. It will be interesting to see what transpires in this series as the two teams now head to San Antonio. Last summer, perpetually disgruntled employee LaMarcus Aldridge, who had up to that point underperformed as a Spur, presented Pop with an ultimatum: Retool your system to get more of the touches I need or trade me, which is markedly weird think to ask of arguably the most gifted tactician in the history of the sport. The first two games have been ugly but so have many road games for the Spurs this year.

This remains one of the NBA's most cryptic stories of the season and does not have an end in sight. This years we had so many rotations, so complicated. "When we get the rocks, just try to be as forceful as we can with it and exploit the matchups".

The Warriors entered this series believing they could win without Curry.

"That's the difference in the ball game". Golden State buried 15 triples and shot better than 48 percent from beyond the arc while the Spurs hit a miserable 14.3 percent from downtown in the contest. He even was in foul trouble as he had five, including a flagrant foul. His numbers across the board have steadily dipped in the regular season, and the last two years he averaged 7.3 points and four rebounds. Golden State will find a way to get their points and force San Antonio to play catch-up.



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