Golden State Warriors at San Antonio Spurs (-7, 195)
Best-of-seven series tied 2-2.
The Golden State Warriors are proving to be a tough opponent for the San Antonio Spurs. Just when it looked like the series was again turning in the Spurs’ favor, the Warriors took back the momentum and will be searching for a 3-2 lead when they visit San Antonio for Game 5 on Tuesday. Stephen Curry shook off another ankle sprain to score 22 points in Game 4 as Golden State claimed an overtime victory.
The Spurs are learning that Curry is not the only player to worry about on the other side, and Harrison Barnes and Jarrett Jack did the bulk of the damage for the Warriors down the stretch in Game 4. The bigger problem for San Antonio was a lack of execution on the offensive end, especially in the fourth quarter and overtime. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was dismayed by the team’s inability to hit free throws. “We didn’t make our free throws,” he told reporters. “And I don’t think I’ll be able to watch film and come up with an answer for you of why we missed our free throws.”
TV: 9:30 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Golden State fell behind in the first and second quarters of Game 4 while Andrew Bogut and Carl Landry were on the bench with foul trouble. The Warriors made the decision to match up with a big starting unit and Bogut and Landry combined to play 12 minutes in the first half. Bogut ended up playing 28 minutes and grabbing 18 rebounds while harassing Spurs forward Tim Duncan into a 7-for-22 shooting performance. Curry came through in the second half as well, knocking down a pair of 3-pointers during a key stretch in the third quarter and going 5-for-10 from beyond the arc in the contest. His three-point play in overtime helped seal the win. The star guard was a game-time decision due to his injured left ankle but ended up playing 39 minutes. Barnes picked up some slack with a career-high 26 points and attempted nearly as many field goals (26) as Curry and Klay Thompson combined (28).
ABOUT THE SPURS: San Antonio point guard Tony Parker is dealing with a calf injury and was less explosive in Game 4. His struggles to get into the lane left some of the perimeter shooters covered, and the Spurs went 7-for-27 from beyond the arc. Parker (5-for-6) was one of few reliable performers at the free-throw line, however, as San Antonio went 14-for-25 from the stripe. The Spurs missed two free throws and seven straight field goals to begin overtime after fumbling away an eight-point lead in the fourth quarter. “We put ourselves in position to win the game,” Duncan said, “and it’s frustrating because we feel like we gave it away.”
* Warriors are 7-0 ATS in their last seven road games.
* Under is 5-1 in Warriors’ last six overall.
* Warriors are 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Under is 4-1 in Spurs’ last five overall.
1. The Warriors, who went 30 straight games between victories in San Antonio, will be looking for two straight in the city during Game 5.
2. Duncan has recorded three double-doubles in the four games but has yet to shoot 50 percent or better in the series.
3. Golden State F David Lee played eight minutes in Game 4, his most since suffering a torn hip flexor in Game 1 of the first round.
New York Knicks at Indiana Pacers (-5.5, 179.5)
Indiana leads series 2-1.
The Indiana Pacers fixed whatever had slowed them down in Game 2 and put together a strong defensive performance to take Game 3. The Pacers will be looking for a commanding 3-1 lead in the Eastern Conference semifinals when they host the New York Knicks on Tuesday. The Knicks are dealing with some internal turmoil over shot selection while trying to work Amar’e Stoudemire back into the forward rotation.
New York center Tyson Chandler, who has had trouble guarding Indiana’s Roy Hibbert while also offering little on the offensive end in the series, was seemingly critical of Knicks shooters Carmelo Anthony and J.R. Smith. “I watched the tape myself and there’s open looks,” Chandler told reporters. “We have to be willing passers. You have to sacrifice yourself sometimes for the betterment of the team, for the betterment of your teammates. … I‘m not saying anyone is doing it maliciously. I think it’s moreso a situation, you want to take over the game or you want to make a big shot, where you have to just stick to the game plan.” The Pacers’ defense has forced New York to become a different offensive team by taking away the 3-point line.
TV: 7 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE KNICKS: Chandler did not mention Smith or Anthony by name, but those are the two players taking the bulk of the shots and both have struggled. Anthony scored 16 points during a 30-2 run that sealed a Game 2 win but has otherwise had a hard time with Paul George and David West. The All-Star forward was held to 6-for-16 from the field in Game 3 and went 10-for-28 in Game 1, both losses. Smith, who has been dealing with an illness and missed his second straight day of practice on Monday, is 11-for-42 in the series and has not reached double figures in scoring in either of the last two contests. Chandler, who was named to the All-Defensive First Team on Monday, got into foul trouble in Game 3 and has averaged seven points and four rebounds in the series.
ABOUT THE PACERS: Indiana came out aggressively in Game 3 and quickly erased the sting of Game 2’s collapse. The Pacers’ commitment to the defensive end helped hold the Knicks to 35.2 percent from the field and limited them to 11 3-point attempts. Paul George (2-for-12) had more 3-point attempts all by himself and made up for a tough shooting day with some tight defense on Anthony and Smith. “That’s how we play Pacers basketball,” George said. “We just locked in, and it was just helping one another on the defensive end.” Indiana held a 53-40 rebounding edge in Game 3 as both Hibbert and West pulled down 12 boards.
* Favorite is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Home team is 4-1 ATS in the last five meetings.
* Knicks are 10-4 ATS in their last 14 road games.
* Pacers are 6-13-1 ATS in their last 20 Conference Semifinals games.
1. The Pacers are 4-0 at home in the postseason.
2. New York G Iman Shumpert (left knee) missed practice on Monday but is expected to play on Tuesday.
3. The teams combined for 32 turnovers and 46 fouls in Game 3