San Antonio fended off a late comeback attempt from Golden State and extended its home winning streak against the Warriors to 29 games with a 104-93 win Wednesday at AT&T Center.
The formula was pretty simple: Follow Tim Duncan’s lead.
Duncan scored 25 points, had 13 rebounds, six assists and four blocks in a vintage performance for the future Hall-of-Famer. Since the Spurs drafted him No. 1 overall in the 1997 NBA Draft, they have not lost to Golden State at home.
“He's a Hall-of-Fame player, an all-time great, certainly had a big night tonight,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said.
San Antonio (52-16) led for most of the contest and was up 91-78 with seven minutes, 37 seconds left before Golden State (39-31) began to claw its way back. A pair of free throws from Stephen Curry capped a Warriors run to make it 92-88 at the 3:38 mark, but a bucket from Duncan on the Spurs’ next possession halted the Warriors momentum.
Golden State managed just one field goal down the stretch -- a three from Curry -- as San Antonio pulled away.
Despite the loss, Jackson came away feeling good about his team’s performance and, more specifically, the road trip as a whole.
“Beat the teams we were supposed to beat and lost to the team that's the No. 1 team in the West in their building,” he said. “I thought it was a successful trip and now the point is let's go home and take care of business. You got to build on it.”
With 12 games left in the regular season, the Warriors will head home with a one-game lead over Houston for the No. 6 spot in the Western Conference standings. The Rockets beat Utah 100-93 Wednesday.
They open a five-game home stand Saturday against Washington, then have games with the Lakers, Kings, Blazers and Hornets.
Curry finished with a team-high 24 points, while Jarrett Jack added 14 off the bench. Center Andrew Bogut had four points and 11 rebounds, but all of his scoring and six of his rebounds came in the first quarter.
When the Warriors snapped a 16-game losing streak to the Spurs on Feb. 22, coach Mark Jackson made it clear he doesn’t associate himself with the franchise’s history.
“It’s been a long year and a half,” Jackson said at the time. “That’s how long (the losing streak against the Spurs has) been for me. My history is not this team’s history, with all due respect.”
So while Jackson would prefer to look at his team’s losing streak in San Antonio as a three-game skid over two years, Wednesday’s loss actually represents the 16th consecutive season without a win there for Golden State.
Jackson leaned heavily on the second unit for a large stretch spanning the first two quarters, but when he re-inserted Bogut, Curry, David Lee and Klay Thompson alongside Jack with 8:15 left in the second things fell apart.
Over the next 3:02, the Spurs went on a 16-2 run -- with Duncan on the bench -- to take command of the game. Golden State cut the lead to 60-47 by halftime.
Lee finished with 10 points and 12 rebounds.
#WarriorsTalk Tweet of the Game
Good road trip nonetheless #WarriorsTalk— Renato (@renkyryamb) March 21, 2013