Spurs beat Warriors, stay unbeaten at home
(The Sports Xchange) - LaMarcus Aldridge scored 26 points and grabbed 13 rebounds and the San Antonio defense held Golden State to a season-low offensive output as the Spurs made a statement with an 87-79 victory over the Warriors on Saturday to remain unbeaten at home.
The game featured the best combined record among opponents this late in the season in league history.
San Antonio held Golden State scoreless over the final 2:33 while expanding a three-point lead to eight at the final horn. The Warriors missed their last seven shots.
The Spurs (59-10) have opened the season a perfect 35-0 at the AT&T Center and have also won a franchise-best 44 straight regular-season games at home since a loss to Cleveland in March of last season.
San Antonio's streak is tied for the second-longest in NBA history, tying Chicago's 44-game regular-season home run of 1995-96 and trailing only the continuing streak by Golden State (50 games). It's second all-time in NBA history for the longest home winning streaks to start a season (37, set by the Bulls in 1995-96).
Kawhi Leonard added 18 points and 14 rebounds for the Spurs while Boris Diaw scored 14 points and Danny Green hit for 10. The Spurs, who have won six straight games, are 21-3 since losing to the Warriors in Oakland on Jan. 25.
Golden State (62-7), which had its seven-game win streak snapped, was led by Klay Thompson's 15 points while Stephen Curry had 14 points on 4-of-18 shooting (1 of 12 on 3-pointers). Draymond Green added 11 points for the Warriors and Brandon Rush had 10.
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It was Golden State's 33 consecutive regular-season loss in San Antonio, a skid that started Feb. 14, 1997 when Spurs' 39-year-old Tim Duncan was a rookie.
The Warriors' previous low for points this season was 89 against Cleveland on Christmas night.
The Spurs started with a smaller than normal lineup, inserting Diaw in place of Tim Duncan at center and the strategy worked, with Diaw scoring six of San Antonio's first eight points.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr was into the game early on and was whistled for a technical foul in the first quarter for arguing when Golden State's Marresse Speights was called for an offensive foul. Kerr had to be physically restrained by his assistant coaches.
Both teams were obviously a little tight because of the implication of the game and it showed in their shooting performance, with San Antonio shooting 35 percent to the Warriors' 33 percent in the first quarter. Golden State was 1 of 9 from 3-point range while the Spurs missed all three of their 3-point attempts. Reserve Shaun Livingston poured in a jumper from the wing with 0.1 seconds remaining to grant the Warriors an 18-17 lead after 12 minutes of play.
The second quarter belonged to the Spurs, who took the lead on a Patty Mills 3-pointer two minutes into the period and expanded it to 10 points, at 38-28, on a breakaway dunk by Leonard at the 3:46 mark after a missed layup by Curry.
San Antonio led by as much as 11 points until the Warriors reeled off the final five points of the half -- three of them on free throws by Curry -- and cut the Spurs' advantage to 43-37 at halftime.
The 37-point first half was a season-low for Golden State (previously 42 against Dallas in a 114-91 loss on Dec. 30).
Leonard and Aldridge had 12 points each for the Spurs at the half, while Curry and Brandon Rush scored seven apiece to lead Golden State.
Curry hit his first 3-pointer of the game on his eighth attempt with a 35-foot rainbow over Aldridge midway through the third quarter that brought the Warriors back to even at 55-55. But the Spurs were undaunted, scoring the next five points on a 3-pointer by Tony Parker and a pair of free throws by Aldridge.
Curry's two free throws with 59.6 second left in the quarter tied the game again at 65, setting the table for a furious final period.
The Spurs grabbed their first lead of the fourth quarter on an Aldridge hook at the 6:25 mark and added to the advantage on their next possession via a putback by Diaw. Green hit an off-balance 3-pointer to move the score to 78-74 and, after Rush answered with a 3 of his own, went straight to the hole for a finger-roll layup to push the San Antonio lead back to four points.