Spurs-Warriors: What to watch for

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Spurs-Warriors: What to watch for

Programming note: Spurs-Warriors coverage begins tonight at 7:30 p.m. on Comcast Sportsnet Bay Area Plus!
The Warriors are winding down, and the Spurs are ratchetingup. Thats the way it usually goes at the end of NBA regular seasons and thisone is no different.

RELATED: NBA conference standings
The Warriors have lost 11 of their past 13 games and arelimping toward their seventeenth non-playoff season in the past 18. The Spurshave won 13 of their past 15 games and will be a part of the NBAs postseasonfor the 15th consecutive seasons.For the Warriors, its all about whether they will get tokeep their 2012 first-round draft pick. If they finish with a top-sevenselection, they get to keep it. If they wind up with the No. 8 pick or worse,it goes to Utah.The Spurs, on the other hand, are just a game-and-a-halfbehind the Oklahoma City Thunder in the battle for home-court advantagethroughout the playoffs.Here are some things to watch for during Mondays gamebetween the Spurs and Warriors at Oracle Arena:Who will play and who wont: The Warriorswill be without most of their front-line players, including Andrew Bogut,Stephen Curry and David Lee. They are likely to be without Andris Biedrins(concussion) and Richard Jefferson (right knee).Spurs coach Gregg Popovich has long believed in resting hisplayers during the regular season to keep them healthy for the postseason. Tim Duncan, Tony Parker and ManuGinobili are all healthy right now, but dont be surprised if Popovich sits oneor more of them. Mondays game begins a stretch of three games in a row for theSpurs.Tylers finish: With seven games remaining,its important that rookie Jeremy Tyler finishes strong and starts to buildsomething for next season. Tyler had been giving the Warriors some consistencybefore a recent stretch derailed his progress.In the past four games, Tyler is shooting just 31.8 percentand has turned the ball over five times and had three assists. He also has just12 rebounds in his past 70 minutes.It wont be easy for Tyler, assuming hes playing against aSpurs frontline that includes Duncan.Nates game: When point guard NateRobinson plays well, hes capable of helping the Warriors hang around againstany opponent. When Robinson doesnt play well and hes playing legitimateminutes he can really hurt the Warriors chances in terms of winning andlosing.Robinson played very well in a loss to the Spurs earlierthis season, one in which he scored 28 points and Golden State had a latelead.Lets see if Robinson can put another nice game togetheragainst San Antonio.

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

Warriors All-Stars combine for 56 points, West wins

BOX SCORE

NEW ORLEANS — Anthony Davis had an All-Star Game for the record books.

And on a night when Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant provided a glimpse of the past, Giannis Antetokounmpo showed he's clearly part of the future and a midcourt lob attempt from James Harden even went in, Davis absolutely stole the show.

He scored 52 points, 10 more than Wilt Chamberlain's All-Star record that had stood for 55 years, and the Western Conference beat the Eastern Conference 192-182 on Sunday night — the highest-scoring game in league history.

Davis made 26 shots and took 39, both of those also All-Star records. He even outdid Westbrook, who had 41 points in just 20 minutes — which ordinarily would have been enough to merit him what would have been a third straight MVP award.

Not this time. It was Davis hoisting the trophy, to the delight of his New Orleans fans.

"It was a lot of fun," Davis said. "My teammates did a great job of looking for me."

Durant had a triple-double with 21 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists. Stephen Curry added 21 points for the West — where a subplot emerged as DeMarcus Cousins played only two minutes, prompting some speculation that a trade sending him out of Sacramento might be looming.

Antetokounmpo had 30 points for the East, with 12 dunks in his night. LeBron James scored 23 points to become the first All-Star to eclipse 300 in a career, Kyrie Irving had 22 points and 14 assists, and Isaiah Thomas scored 20 for the East.

Davis became the story that overshadowed The Story coming into this game, that being the Durant-Westbrook whatever.

And if there is any animus remaining between Durant and Westbrook, it was hidden. They passed each other the ball and slapped hands in the pregame layup line, and not long after Westbrook checked into the game the former Oklahoma City teammates provided one of the game's top highlights — a give-and-go, capped by Durant lobbing the ball to set Westbrook up for a dunk.

"OH MY GOD! WHAT JUST HAPPENED?" Curry shouted on the West bench, which moments later broke into celebration. Players jumped and threw hands skyward, Curry tossing a cupful of water onto a smiling Durant amid it all.

Draymond Green called the play "cute," and Westbrook and Durant seemed happy with it as well.

"It was a nice give-and-go, man," Westbrook said. "Good give-and-go. Made a good pass. I barely got over the rim, but it was a nice give-and-go."

Added Durant: "It was a great basketball play. He was open so I threw him the lob. He can jump really high so yeah, good play."

Some fans were shouting "De-Fense!" in the fourth quarter. West center DeAndre Jordan heard them, rising from his seat on the West bench to yell "No, no, no" back in their direction.

If those fans were serious, they were disappointed.

Westbrook scored 12 points — all on 3s — in a 63-second span late in the third quarter, coming off the bench and firing over and over and over again. And then he opened the fourth quarter with another 3, giving him 34 points in just under 14 minutes played to that point.

It looked like he was a cinch for MVP honors, until Davis scored 20 points in the fourth.

TIP-INS

East: Irving also led the East in rebounds with seven. ... Kyle Lowry scored 19 points and DeMar DeRozan added 16. ... No East player logged more than 24 minutes.

West: Curry took cover in the third quarter, comically hitting the deck face-first as Antetokounmpo went in for yet another dunk. So later in the quarter, Antetokounmpo went over Curry for a rebound slam — one that left Curry staring at the scoreboard for a replay. ... Kawhi Leonard had a steal and dunk in the opening minute, a defensive display that left West coach Steve Kerr in hysterics.

EMBIID CLOSE

Joel Embiid wanted to be in the All-Star Game, and he was close — literally and figuratively.

The Philadelphia star sat on the edge of the baseline next to the West bench, meaning he got to greet players throughout the night and share a few words with some at halftime.

CELEB WATCH

A huge roar greeted Jon Batiste, who performed "The Star-Spangled Banner" pregame, when he started the song.

It wasn't for him.

That happened to be the moment when John Legend — the halftime performer — and Chrissy Teigen were shown at their sideline seats on the video screens around the arena. And a louder cheer came not long afterward when Beyonce and Jay Z got on-screen.

Among the other celebs in the seats: Guy Fieri, Dave Chappelle, Julius Erving, Alonzo Mourning, Bill Russell, Oscar Robertson and The Roots.

UP NEXT

The next All-Star Game is Feb. 18, 2018, in Los Angeles, which will host for a record sixth time.

Thompson eliminated in first round of All-Star 3-point contest

Thompson eliminated in first round of All-Star 3-point contest

Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson will not repeat as the NBA All-Star Game's 3-point shootout champion. 

In need of 19 points, Thompson managed only 18 -- that allowed Kemba Walker to advance into the semifinals. 

Houston's Eric Gordon had the high score of the first round. He went on to win the championship -- besting Kyrie Irving.

Thompson has made 182 3-pointers this season which ranks him fifth in the league.