Aldridge’s double-double fuels Spurs by Warriors, 89-75
”I’m a leader, so I have to do what we need,” Aldridge said. ”Playing defense, blocking shots, scoring. It all comes with it.”
San Antonio beat Golden State for the first time in four tries this season and won their fourth straight overall to move into fifth place in the Western Conference, a half-game ahead of idle Utah and New Orleans.
Aldridge scored five straight points early in the fourth quarter to help the Spurs recapture a 66-65 advantage. He finished with 19 points in the fourth, including 11 straight that erased a four-point deficit and gave San Antonio a 72-65 lead it would not relinquish.
”He was a horse in that fourth quarter,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. ”Obviously, it wasn’t a fair fight, but it just shows what kind of class they have and how well coached they are and how badly they want to be champions again. They played great and we picked the right five minutes to play really well at the end of the game.”
Already without injured All-Stars Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson, Golden State lost Draymond Green in the second quarter to a bruise in the pelvic area. Green took a knee to the upper groin while defending a drive to the basket by Danny Green.
Draymond Green said he was suffering a ”constant, annoying pain,” but doesn’t expect to miss any games.
”It’ll be fine,” Green said. ”I think it’s just something that’s kind of like at the peak right now, but it’s calmed down a little bit since it happened. It ain’t that serious.”
The Warriors weren’t getting any sympathy from a Spurs team that has played without Kawhi Leonard for much of the season.
Golden State still managed to hold San Antonio to 12 points in the third quarter, matching the Spurs’ season low for points in any period.
Two blocked shots propelled the Warriors to their first lead of the game.
JaVale McGee blocked Dejounte Murray’s attempted floater and then scored on a dunk to pull Golden State within 59-57 with 2:21 remaining in the third. Quinn Cook tied the game on a jumper after Patrick McCaw came from the weak side defensively to stuff Pau Gasol near the rim. Kevon Looney gave the Warriors the lead at 63-61 on jumper with two seconds left in the frame.
The Spurs responded by holding the Warriors to 12 points in the fourth quarter to help their bid for a 21st consecutive postseason appearance.
”They were great defensively,” Golden State coach Steve Kerr said. ”The Spurs turned it up a notch. They’re fighting for their playoff lives and they played liked it.”
Mills finished with 12 points and Danny Green added 11.
Warriors: Curry (right ankle), Durant (fractured rib) and Thompson (fractured right thumb) did not travel with the team, remaining in Oakland to continue rehabilitating their injuries. … Curry was scheduled to be reevaluated Tuesday. … The Warriors’ highest point total in a quarter was 22 in the third. Golden State scored 42 points in the third quarter against Phoenix on Saturday, the 11th time it has scored 40-plus in a quarter this season. … Golden State has won six games when trailing by 15-plus points.
Spurs: Leonard was not on the bench, as he has been for much of the team’s current six-game homestand. Leonard (right quadriceps tendinopathy) has played in only nine games this season. … Danny Green became the third player in franchise history with a 3-pointer in 400 career games, joining Manu Ginobili (746) and Bruce Bowen (411).
Murray had eight rebounds to set the franchise record for rebounds in a single season by a point guard. The 6-foot-5 guard has 385 rebounds in 1,436 minutes, surpassing Johnny Moore’s total of 378 collected in 2,689 minutes.
”He’s pretty athletic,” Aldridge said. ”He has a nose for the ball. He goes and gets them. That’s big time for him. He’s only going to get better from here.”
Warriors: Host Atlanta on Friday night.
Spurs: Host Washington on Wednesday night.
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