Warriors rally vs. Spurs, win ninth straight
SAN ANTONIO -- Stephen Curry scored 29 points, 13 in the pivotal third quarter, as the Golden State Warriors came back from an early 22-point deficit to defeat the San Antonio Spurs 110-98 in a slugfest between the top two teams in the NBA on Wednesday at AT&T Center.
Curry's shooting in the third quarter pushed the Warriors to the lead, and fellow Splash Brother Klay Thompson's nine points in the first five minutes of the fourth kept them there.
Golden State hit just two of its first 12 shots and trailed 29-7 with 3:29 remaining in the first quarter.
The Warriors also got a huge performance off the bench from former Spurs forward David West, who poured in 11 of his 15 points in the final quarter.
Golden State (61-14) expanded its lead over the Spurs to 3 1/2 games in the race for the league's best record. The Warriors have seven games to play, while San Antonio (57-17) has eight.
Thompson ended up with 23 points and Andre Iguodala added 14 for the Warriors, who have won nine straight games since losing to San Antonio on March 11. Curry added a game-high 11 assists for Golden State.
Kawhi Leonard led the Spurs with 19 points on 7-of-20 shooting. Pau Gasol hit for 18 points off the bench, and LaMarcus Aldridge and Danny Green scored 17 and 16 points, respectively, for San Antonio, which had a five-game winning streak snapped.
If there were any question about San Antonio coming out flat after a 29-point win over defending NBA champion Cleveland on Monday, that notion was answered in the first few minutes Wednesday.
The Spurs jumped on Golden State early, roaring to the first 15 points as Green hit a trio of 3-pointers in the initial four minutes. The lead bulged to 23-3 at the 5:01 mark as the Warriors missed 10 of their first 11 shots and committed five turnovers.
Iguodala poured in seven of the final nine points of the quarter to allow Golden State to creep to within 33-17 after 12 minutes. Curry, with eight points, was the only Warriors starter to score in the quarter.
Golden State eventually found its stride, cutting the Spurs' advantage to 43-36 on a three-point play by Shawn Livingston with 5:51 to play in the second quarter. Another Livingston jumper at the 3:30 mark, after a 24-second violation by San Antonio, tied the game at 45 and washed away the Spurs' early momentum.
The Spurs led 57-54 at halftime behind 14 points from Green, 12 from Aldridge and 10 from Leonard. San Antonio owned a 28-13 edge in rebounding in the first half.
Curry paced the Warriors with 14 points while Thompson added 11 (all in the second quarter) and Iguodala hit for 10. After its rancid beginning, Golden State actually outshot the Spurs 45.2 percent to 42.6 percent.
Thompson's 3-pointer in the second minute of the third quarter gave the Warriors a 59-57 lead, and Curry's bomb from beyond the arc after an offensive rebound 1:19 later pushed the advantage to 62-57.
Golden State's lead grew to as many as eight points, but San Antonio fought its way back to tie the game at 72 with 3:10 left in the third. Aldridge's dunk and free throw evened it up.
A runout dunk by Curry with 8.9 seconds to play in the quarter granted the Warriors an 84-77 cushion heading into the final quarter.
NOTES: San Antonio was the last Western Conference team to hand the Warriors three losses in a season. The Spurs swept Golden State 4-0 in 2013-14. ... Warriors coach Steve Kerr this season joined Pat Riley and Rick Carlisle as the only coaches to win division titles in each of their first three seasons. ... San Antonio won 33 consecutive home games against the Warriors from the start of the 1997-98 season until April 10, 2016, when the Spurs dropped a 92-86 decision to Golden State for their only home loss in the 2015-16 season. ... Golden State's bench has scored 50 or more points in six games this season (twice against Portland), with the last time on March 11 at San Antonio when the Warriors' reserves tallied 54 points. ... Next up for the Warriors is a Friday home game against Houston. San Antonio hits the road for a battle with Oklahoma City on Friday.