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Well, that couldn’t have gone much worse. The Warriors didn’t defeat San Antonio 136-100 in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. They stole their heart, crushed their spirit and made off with their lunch money.

The result — America dislikes the Dubs even more. Too boring. Too talented. And, let’s just say it, a little too pleased with themselves.

It remains the enduring mystery of professional basketball why a team that emphasizes ball movement, sharing the glory and running the floor tirelessly can engender such sneering and shade-throwing.

Sure they won, the narrative goes, but only because two of the Spurs’ best players, Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker. are injured.

So we’re back to two years ago, when the Warriors won the title but critics said it was only because a voodoo curse caused opponents to suffer a rash of injuries.

Let’s not pretend that Leonard’s injury isn’t significant. SB Nation points out that from the moment he went down, the Warriors have outscored San Antonio by 61 points.

But from the reaction, you’d think the only fair option for the Warriors would be to sit out Kevin Durant or Steph Curry in the spirit of good sportsmanship. In the postgame, a reporter asked Spurs coach Greg Popovich,“was it a fair fight tonight?”

Popovich opined that his team seemed mentally dispirited by the loss of their best player. You picture them looking sadly at Leonard’s jersey hanging in the locker and wondering, “Oh, what’s the point?”

“I don’t think, as a group, they believed,” Popovich said. “I think we felt it too much. We had a lack of edge, intensity and effort.”

Huh. Actually, I agree with Curry, who said he was surprised to hear Pop’s comments. He said he thought the Spurs came out focused and “light on their feet.”

That’s how it looked from the cheap seats. The Spurs began the game making hard cuts, quick passes and pounding the ball inside.

And Golden State ran circles around them. You can pick your own turning point if you’d like, but when you win by 36, there are no wrong answers.

Just for fun, I’ll choose a sequence in the first quarter. The Spurs’ Jonathan Simmons had just nailed a jumper to make it 9-6 and we were settling in for a back-and-forth battle.

On the next trip down, Draymond Green — whose name appears on the play-by-play sheet as Dr. Green — went with a behind-the-back bounce pass to gravity-challenged Zaza Pachulia, who dunked with both (!) hands.

That was followed by a turnover by Pau Gasol and a fast-break pass by Doctor Green to create a 3-point bomb by Curry. That pushed the lead to eight and sent the full house into delirium.

From there on it was only a matter of guessing the margin of victory. As the official play-by-play sheet said, “Lead changes: 0. Ties: 0.”

The result? America is not entertained.

“You look at that roster,” said Simmons, singled out by Popovich as the one player who stepped up to the challenge. “There are not too many teams with a roster like that.”

So we’re back to the signing of Durant at the start of the season. There’s are still those who not only insist acquiring him was an unfair advantage, but that Durant took “the easy way” by signing with an established playoff finalist.


Monster Energy Cup Toyota/Save Mart 350



10 a.m.: Spectator gates open

11:40 a.m.-12:20 p.m.: Monster Energy Cup practice

1:05-2:25 p.m.: NASCAR Pro Series West practice

2:40-3:55 p.m.: Monster Energy Cup practice


9 a.m.: Spectator gates open

10:00-11:15 a.m.: STEM Race Car Challenge

10:15 a.m.: NASCAR Pro Series West qualifying

11:45 a.m.: Monster Energy Cup qualifying

1:30 p.m.: NASCAR Pro Series West Carneros 200 (64 laps)


7 a.m.: Spectator gates open

11:20 a.m.: Toyota/Save Mart 350 driver introductions

Noon: Toyota/Save Mart 350 race

Right, like all those other teams that made the pilgrimage to the Hamptons to court Durant wouldn’t have taken him if he’d agreed to sign with them.

It’s probably too late to unwind that story. Watching Durant fit in seamlessly is apparently not going to convince anyone. In the first quarter Durant took one shot, scored two points and seemed perfectly content.

“Our offense,” said Durant, who finished with 21, “is not based on one guy getting the ball and everybody get out of the way. We had seven guys in double figures and another guy with nine.”

Not good enough? OK, just to be a contrarian, keep an eye on Saturday’s Game 3. Consider:

The Spurs only lost by two in Game 1 — “We blew a great opportunity,” Popovich said.

Second, the Spurs are not the tanking Lakers. They are one of two teams to win 60 games this year. They were “embarrassed,” in Popovich’s words. Expect them to come out guns blazing.

Third, San Antonio’s arena is one of the true pits in basketball.

Those fans are right up in your grill and they are talking the kind of smack that would get you tossed out of a YMCA gym. The Warriors famously shoot 3-pointers less effectively on the road, so that could be a problem.

And, it may not have looked like it, but the Spurs have a significant advantage — front-court size.

They not only outrebounded the Warriors, the offensive rebounds were 22-6 in San Antonio’s favor.

“We’ve got to get that cleaned up,” said Warriors interim coach Mike Brown.

Put all that together and you have a very stern test coming up. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Warriors lose.

Would that make you happy, America?

Contact C.W. Nevius at cw.nevius@pressdemocrat.com. Twitter: @cwnevius

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