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
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
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
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