Published April 15, 2013
| Sports Network
Both the San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors face huge playoff implications Monday night when they meet at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
The Spurs trail the Oklahoma City Thunder by one game for first in the Western Conference. The Spurs finish the season at home Wednesday against the Minnesota Timberwolves, while OKC hosts the Sacramento Kings on Monday, then the Milwaukee Bucks on Wednesday.
The Warriors are tied with the Houston Rockets for the sixth seed in the Western Conference. They visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday, while the Rockets will be in L.A. to face the Lakers. Houston owns the tiebreaker with a 3-1 head-to-head record against the Warriors.
The Spurs fell to the Lakers on Sunday night, 91-86. It was the first game for the Lakers since Kobe Bryant tore his left Achilles tendon and Dwight Howard was unstoppable with 26 points and 17 rebounds.
For the Spurs, Tim Duncan had a great game with 23 points and 10 rebounds. Four other San Antonio players scored in double figures, but Tony Parker was not one of them. He only managed four points in just over 37 minutes.
"We didn't match their energy," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. "Timmy was great, he really was the only guy that played like he wanted to win a championship."
The Lakers crushed the Spurs on the boards to the tune of 58-46. The fourth quarter was the difference as the two teams went into the final frame tied, but the Lakers prevailed, 30-25.
On Friday, the Warriors lost a heartbreaker, a 118-116 setback in Los Angeles to the Lakers. That game will forever be remembered as the game where Bryant tore his left Achilles, but there was also an incredible performance by a member of the Warriors.
Steph Curry was on fire with 47 points on 17-for-31 shooting and 9-for-15 shooting from long range.
"I was just trying to be aggressive early," Curry said. "When you're able to be aggressive early and you see your shots falling, things start to open up."
Curry needs nine made 3-pointers in the last two games to break Ray Allen's NBA record of 269 made 3-pointers from the 2005-06 season.
Klay Thompson went for 25 points and David Lee added 19. Carl Landry scored 11 off the bench as head coach Mark Jackson continued to only use three players - Landry, Jarrett Jack and Andris Biedrins - in reserve roles.
Andrew Bogut missed the game with a bone bruise in his left ankle.
On Feb. 22, the Warriors snapped a 16-game losing streak to the Spurs. It was the lone game played at Oracle Arena this season between the two teams.