The Golden State Warriors began their five-game road trip on a much-needed high note, blowing out the San Antonio Spurs 144-113 on Friday night. The defending champions reached their peak offensively against basketball’s worst defense, posting a season-high 130.9 offensive rating, draining 18 threes and becoming just the second team in league history with eight players to score at least 12 points.
Following the game, though, the Warriors’ immediate focus wasn’t on a truly dominant offensive performance. Instead, they couldn’t help but bask in the afterglow of playing in front of a record crowd of 68,323 at the Alamodome, among the most legendary arenas in professional sports.
“It was very fun,” Draymond Green said of Friday’s game. “It’s funny, I said to somebody at the beginning of the game, it feels like you’re playing in the Final Four all over again. To have that experience, like you leave that and never think you’re gonna experience it again. I think this is a great thing that the Spurs organization did. I was happy that we were the game and the team that could be a part of it, because this is a special night.”
Green played in two Final Fours during his four years at Michigan State, battling for a national championship at Detroit’s Ford Field in 2009 and Indianapolis’ Lucas Oil Stadium a year later. He brought that youthful vigor to the fore on Friday, finishing with six points, 12 rebounds, four assists and three steals en route to a team +20 plus-minus.
Steve Kerr, of course, has a more direct connection to the Alamodome than any of his players. The five-time playing champion spent two separate stints in San Antonio after teaming with Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, playing three seasons at the Alamodome on either side of the millennium.Dray
The Spurs honored Kerr’s tenure with a tribute video before the game that elicited a standing ovation from the massive crowd.
“It’s a special place,” he said. “Tonight was a great display of how special the Spurs are and how special San Antonio is.”
Making Friday night all the better? That the Warriors put on their own great display of championship-level basketball, starting a crucial road trip on the right foot.