The San Antonio Spurs and Golden State Warriors will participate in a history-making game on Friday in the Alamo City.
The game will be played in the Alamodome in a game expected to break the NBA regular-season attendance record. As of Wednesday, the Spurs had sold more than 63,000 tickets, which eclipses the standing record of 62,046 that watched the Bulls and Hawks play in 1998 in the Georgia Dome.
The stated capacity for the Alamodome for Friday’s game is 68,000, which would include standing room tickets. The previous record for an NBA game at the stadium, which was the home of the Spurs from 1993-2002, is 39,554 for San Antonio’s Game 2 win against the Knicks in the 1999 NBA Finals.
The largest crowd in NBA history was established in 2010 when 108,713 fans saw the All-Star Game at AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas.
“It will be a fun evening,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “To have that many people in there, it’s crazy.”
While the excitement of playing in front of such a large crowd is palpable, winning the contest would be even sweeter, especially for the Spurs. The team is celebrating its 50th anniversary in the 2022-23 season, the first half of which has been, at best, a struggle.
The Spurs have dropped three straight games and six of their last seven, while short-handed Golden State has also lost three consecutive games, all at home.
San Antonio heads home after a 135-129 defeat in Memphis on Wednesday that followed a 121-113 loss to the Grizzlies on Monday. Keldon Johnson returned after missing three games with a hamstring injury and led the Spurs with 24 points in Wednesday’s loss.
Tre Jones added 22 points, Jakob Poeltl racked up 17 points and 12 rebounds, Doug McDermott scored 15 points, Zach Collins amassed 14 points and 12 rebounds, Josh Richardson scored 12 and Jeremy Sochan hit for 11 for San Antonio.
The Spurs trailed for the majority of the game but cut Memphis’s lead to three points on Richardson’s jumper with 2:41 to play. But San Antonio could not get over the hump.
“They never quit,” Popovich said of his team. “That’s a tribute to their character. You can’t coach that. I was really proud of them.”
The Warriors travel to San Antonio after a 125-113 loss to Phoenix on Tuesday that spoiled the return of Stephen Curry to the Golden State lineup. Curry missed the previous 11 games with a separated shoulder and hit for 24 points to augment the game-high 29 by Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole’s 27 points off the bench.
The Warriors couldn’t beat a Phoenix team that was without six of its regular rotation players, epitomizing Golden State’s ragged performance over the season’s first 41 games in defense of its title.
“I think (losing this game) could be a good thing for us, honestly,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “You need to get a wake-up call — you need to be reminded how hard it is to win, and you need to understand the level of commitment to each other and the game that it takes to win a title.
“Hopefully this is the jolt we need because this first half of the season has been full of stops and starts.”
–Field Level Media