Thompson leads way in third quarter as Warriors beat Spurs
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) Steve Kerr shouted out Luke Walton for his help reaching 250 coaching victories in record time.
Kerr trash talked old coach Phil Jackson, now the second-quickest to 250 wins behind his former Bulls player.
Then, Kerr offered credit where he always does: to his uber-talented roster of All-Stars.
Klay Thompson scored 25 points, 10 coming in the third quarter to help Golden State pull away, and the Warriors beat the San Antonio Spurs 122-105 on Saturday night.
Fellow Splash Brother Stephen Curry added 17 points and eight assists in Kerr’s milestone night.
”It’s been an amazing 3 1/2 years and hopefully more to come,” Curry said. ”… It’s a lot about him setting the identity and the culture around our team and just being a great people guy. There’s probably a better term for that. He just knows how to relate to each and every one of us players and his coaching staff and you’re building that ultimate trust throughout the organization.”
Kerr reached 250 wins in 302 games to top Jackson, who made the mark in 346 games.
”He had Michael Jordan for God sake, so I don’t know what Phil’s problem was,” Kerr cracked.
Yet Kerr, the 2016 NBA Coach of the Year, received 39 victories during a leave of absence following complications from back surgery at the start of the 2015-16 season, when then-top assistant and current Lakers coach Walton coached Golden State.
Draymond Green had 17 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds in another well-rounded outing – and his first technical-free game in the last three. Zaza Pachulia scored 12 points on his 34th birthday and Kevin Durant was limited to a season-low 10 points in a rare cold night from the floor at 3 of 9, but had six rebounds and dished out six assists.
LaMarcus Aldridge and Kyle Anderson led San Antonio with 20 points apiece, while Manu Ginobili had 13 points and six assists off the bench for the Spurs.
Thompson had a quick five-point burst midway through the third.
Curry provided a brief scare when he grimaced after appearing to get a foot tangled with Danny Green before a break at the 8:45 mark of the third. He was examined by athletic trainer Chelsea Lane and stayed in the game.
”I’m fine … my ankle but I’m fine,” Curry said with a grin.
This was a rough one for San Antonio after one of its best games earlier in the week.
The Spurs lost for the third time in four games after putting up a 129-81 blowout at Phoenix on Wednesday night – San Antonio’s third-largest margin of victory.
Draymond Green’s 3-pointer gave Golden State a 58-55 edge at the break. Then the Warriors took off.
David West made all six of his shots for 13 points for Golden State off the bench facing his former Spurs team.
”They’re the best team in the world,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said, ”so there’s lots of things to be impressed by.”
Spurs: Patty Mills earned the start back in the Bay Area where he starred for mid-major power Saint Mary’s College. … Mills shot 1 for 5 from deep as the Spurs were just 5 of 27 from 3-point range.
Warriors: Kerr joined three other Warriors coaches with 250 or more victories: Al Attles (557), Don Nelson (422) and Edward Gottlieb (263). … Green stood pat at 14 technicals after getting three in his previous two games. … With his 615th regular-season game played, Curry moved past Purvis Short into sole possession of ninth place on the franchise list. … Golden State brought G Patrick McCaw back from a one-game appearance in the G League, though Kerr said he might return Sunday to rejoin the Santa Cruz Warriors. McCaw had 22 points, eight rebounds, three assists and two steals in 33 minutes of his first G League game this season.
Popovich stopped by the Warriors coaches’ office to see longtime pal Kerr, whose son Nick is now on the San Antonio staff as video coordinator.
”He calls my son a spy. He said my son could be working for Putin,” Kerr said. ”It’s that kind of conversation when we get together.”
Joked Popovich: ”He wasn’t at practice yesterday. He did whatever we did to prepare for Golden State, whatever that might be, so I told the guys to make sure, before we left the gym to get Nick Kerr’s cellphone so he couldn’t text it to Steve Kerr. He works for them but I don’t trust him a lick. I know he’s calling his dad.”
Spurs: At Utah on Monday.
Warriors: Host Suns on Monday looking for a 12th straight win in the series and also 12th in a row at home.
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