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Wednesday, May 15, 2013
Spurs trio outduels Warriors duo

By ESPN Stats & Information

Game 5 was not about Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, the duo dubbed by Warriors head coach Mark Jackson as “the greatest shooting backcourt” in NBA history.

Instead, it was about one of the best trios in NBA history. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili won their 93rd playoff game together, tying Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Byron Scott of the Los Angeles Lakers for the second-most playoff wins as a trio in NBA history. Only Magic, Kareem and Michael Cooper (110) have more.

The veteran trio played like they were in their prime in Game 5. Duncan posted his 143rd career playoff double-double, tying Wilt Chamberlain for the second-most in NBA postseason history. Only Magic (157) has more.

Parker had 25 points and 10 assists, his 11th career postseason double-double. He has scored at least 20 points in seven of his last eight games.

Curry and Thompson combined for just 13 points, tied for the fewest they’ve combined for in any game that both of them have played in this season (regular season or postseason). Previously, the fewest they had combined for this postseason was 29.

Neither Curry nor Thompson had any unguarded or transition field goal attempts in Game 5. Kawhi Leonard was primarily responsible for locking down Thompson. He held him to 2-for-7 shooting as an on-ball defender.

The Spurs exploited Curry when he was on defense. The Spurs shot 11-of-16 from the field and scored 30 points (23 in the first half) with Curry as the primary on-ball defender. Five different Spurs players contributed to the 30 points, including 11 points on catch-and-shoot jumpers, and nine off screens or pick-and-rolls. Danny Green led the way with 12 of those 30 points. In total, the Spurs averaged 1.58 points per play with Curry as the primary on-ball defender in Game 5 after he allowed just 0.77 points per play in the first four games of the series.

With Thompson struggling offensively over the last two games (and Curry struggling in Game 5), Harrison Barnes has emerged as a legitimate offensive scoring threat for the Warriors. After never scoring more than 21 points during the regular season, Barnes has scored more than 21 points four times this postseason.

Barnes is the first player in NBA history to score at least 25 points in consecutive playoff games after never scoring 25 in any regular season or postseason game in his career, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.

The Warriors have now lost 31 of their last 32 road games (regular season and playoffs) at San Antonio. The Spurs have won 11 of 12 all-time best-of-seven playoff series when leading 3-2.