Spurs 103, Warriors 91

Tim Duncan isn’t surprised by the problems San Antonio has had

on the road this season. The Spurs’ 11-time All-Star just decided

to do something about it.

Duncan had 27 points and 15 rebounds, and San Antonio won for

just the third time away from home this season, beating the Golden

State Warriors 103-91 on Wednesday night.

“We’re not playing well at all anywhere, whether it be on the

road or at home,” Duncan said. “We just haven’t been playing good

basketball. We’re trying to turn that corner and learn from our

mistakes and be better about it.”

San Antonio had lost six of its first eight games away from the

AT&T Center before shutting down Golden State in the second

half.

The Spurs did it behind Duncan and Richard Jefferson, who is

still adjusting to his new teammates after spending last season in

Milwaukee. Jefferson scored 17 points, 14 in the second half.

Keith Bogans matched his season high with 13 points and Tony

Parker had 12 points and eight rebounds for the Spurs, who beat

Golden State for a seventh straight time.

“Our defense in the second half is what fueled us to get the

win,” said San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich, who needs one victory

to become the 17th coach in NBA history to reach 700 wins. “That

was the difference in the game. We changed our pick-and-roll

defense and it worked pretty well.”

Monta Ellis scored 35 points and Corey Maggette added 21 for

injury-riddled Golden State, which played without its top three

centers in coach Don Nelson’s return to the bench. The Warriors

have lost four straight and 10 of 12.

“We can’t make excuses for ourselves,” Ellis said. “We did

everything we could possibly do, but we didn’t hit enough

shots.”

Nelson felt Golden State suffered mental lapses while trying to

adjust to his play-calling.

“I’ve been gone for some time (and) I think my play-calling is

a bit different,” he said. “I expect them to know the play calls

and be where they’re supposed to be, and that didn’t happen

sometimes. I don’t think we were mentally sharp at times.”

Popovich felt the same way about his team in the first half.

Duncan had only seven points by halftime, when the Spurs were

content shooting from the perimeter rather than working the ball

down low to their perennial All-Star forward.

That changed in the third quarter, when Duncan scored 14 points

despite the Warriors double-teaming him in the paint. At one point

Duncan scored on a spin move past Vladimir Radmanovic, then made a

short layup over Anthony Randolph the next time down the court.

Duncan later scored five straight points to give the Spurs a

14-point lead in the third.

After Golden State pulled within 93-86 late in the fourth

quarter, Duncan scored on back-to-back possessions – including a

dunk over Randolph – to put San Antonio comfortably ahead.

That was in sharp contrast to Tuesday, when the Spurs fell

behind early to Phoenix and never caught up, scoring only 20 points

in the fourth quarter of a 114-106 loss.

“It’s always a step in the right direction but you can’t say we

turned the corner yet until we start beating some of the elite

teams,” Duncan said. “It’s a very good win against a young team

that really brings a different type of game to the floor.”

The Warriors, who were already without starting center Andris

Biedrins (lower back strain) and backup Ronny Turiaf (left knee),

learned before the game that Mikki Moore will be out indefinitely

after opting to have surgery to remove bone spurs in his right

heel.

That left Golden State with just nine players in uniform and a

coach still recovering from pneumonia. Don Nelson did not accompany

the Warriors on their most recent road trip but was back on the

bench against the Spurs.

“All better, 100 percent,” Nelson said. “A couple of days

into the road trip I started feeling better, but it was good that I

took the extra time (off).”

It didn’t get any easier for the Warriors when rookie guard

Stephen Curry picked up three fouls in the first quarter and a

fourth two minutes into the second.

Ellis, however, kept Golden State close in the first half until

Duncan took over in the third quarter.

San Antonio led by nine early in the second quarter, but Ellis

scored 11 points during an 18-4 run that gave Golden State a 45-40

lead. The Spurs stopped the slide briefly but Maggette and C.J.

Watson both scored in the final 75 seconds to help the Warriors

take a 49-47 lead into halftime.

NOTES: The Spurs improved to 40-7 against the Warriors since

drafting Duncan in 1997. … Ellis has scored 30 or more points in

seven of his last 14 games. … Radmanovic was 0-for-8 from the

field.