Spurs struggle, but outlast Warriors
SAN ANTONIO (AP)
The previous time the Spurs and Golden State Warriors squared off, it was all about sharp shooting from both teams. That was in the second round of the Western Conference playoffs last season, which San Antonio won in six games.
On Friday night, defense took over, particularly in the final 2:23, when the two teams were a combined 0 for 8 from the field.
Tony Parker provided a late surge for the second consecutive game by scoring 18 points, including the last seven for the Spurs as they held off the Warriors 76-74.
"Again, Tony made some huge buckets to keep the lead when we were dry," Spurs guard Manu Ginobili said.
Parker, who scored 15 of the Spurs' final 16 points in a victory over Phoenix two nights earlier, left the AT&T Center immediately after the win and was not available to the media.
Golden State star guard Stephan Curry did not play after bruising his left ankle Wednesday night against Minnesota. Minus him, the Spurs won their 30th straight regular-season home game against the Warriors.
But they still had a chance to end the streak after Parker missed two free throws with 16.4 seconds remaining. Andre Iguodala drove to the basket and tried a layup that rolled off the rim at the buzzer.
"I got a decent shot off," Iguodala said. "Tim (Duncan) did a good job of making me alter the shot a little bit."
After Golden State's David Lee hit two free throws with 2:23 left, both teams failed to find the basket.
"We're two teams that lay a solid foundation of solid defensive principles," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "It was a grind out there. It was tough to score on both sides."
Golden State entered the night ranked second in the league in field goal percentage at slightly over 50 percent. But a stout San Antonio defense held the Warriors to 40 percent.
"Overall, they're a hard team to guard, so I thought the defense was some of the better defense we've played this year," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "(We) did a lot of one-on-one on the post and one-on-one on the perimeter. We certainly couldn't put it in the basket, so the defense was really important for us tonight."
Kawhi Leonard added 13 points for the Spurs, who improved to a conference-best 5-1.
Toney Douglas came off the bench to lead Golden State with 20 points. Lee added 13 and Clay Thompson had 11.
The Spurs shot 39.2 percent from the field, marking the fifth time in six games this season that Golden State held its opponent to under 40 percent from the field.
San Antonio jumped out to an early double-digit lead, but struggled in the second quarter, hitting just two field goals in the first seven minutes. Still, the Spurs managed to maintain the lead by plugging their big men in the middle and forcing Golden State to take outside jumpers.
NOTES: With the win, Duncan and Parker are now No. 4 all-time in league history for victories by teammates with 597. ... Harrison Barnes, who missed the Warriors' first four games of the season with left toe inflammation, made his first start of the season, filling in for Curry. Barnes scored five points. ... Spurs F Matt Bonner missed his second straight game with tightness in his left calf. ... The Spurs' regular-season home winning streak against Golden State is their longest active string against any team. The Warriors, however, won at San Antonio in last season's playoffs.