OAKLAND – The Warriors on Tuesday got an up-close look at a warrior's heart while taking lesson in championship-caliber basketball.
One night after grinding out a win over the Clippers in Los Angeles, the defending champion Spurs navigated their way to a 113-100 win over the Warriors before a sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.
Klay Thompson led four Warriors in double figures with 29 points. He put in 13 during a fourth-quarter comeback that fell short down the stretch against a team that simply doesn't blow double-digit leads in the final minutes.
The Warriors (5-2) got a terrific performance from small forward Harrison Barnes, who finished with 22 points and eight rebounds, but it wasn't enough to offset the clever, wily, absurdly skillful maneuvers of the Spurs (4-3).
Stephen Curry had 16 points and seven assists but once again, the Warriors were hurt by their reserves. Despite Marreese Speights' 11 points in 11 minutes off the bench, Warriors subs were outscored 40-20 by San Antonio's backups.
Five Spurs scored in double figures, led by Tony Parker, who finished with 28 points and seven assists.
The Warriors committed 20 turnovers in losing for the 53rd time in the last 61 games against San Antonio.
Barnes had his most impactful game of the season, playing 39 minutes and often looking spectacular on offense. He made 9-of-12 from the floor and 3-of-4 from the line.
Speights was an offensive force off the bench, but delivered too little, too late.
Trailing 52-49 with 11:01 left in the third quarter, the Warriors watched the Spurs go on a 14-5 run to take a 66-54 lead with 7:24 left. The Warriors rallied several times but never got closer than six after that.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich often rests aging stars Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili in the second game of back-to-back sets. Not so this time. Duncan finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds in 36 minutes and Ginobili came off the bench for 17 points in 26 minutes.
F David Lee (strained left hamstring) did not play, remains out indefinitely and is scheduled to undergo reevaluation next week.
The Warriors will practice Wednesday at their downtown Oakland facility and return to action Thursday against the Brooklyn Nets at Oracle Arena.