Spurs shut down Warriors in showdown to stay perfect at home
SAN ANTONIO (AP) -- LaMarcus Aldridge had 26 points and 13 rebounds, and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Golden State Warriors 87-79 on Saturday night to remain perfect at the AT&T Center this season and extend their home dominance over the defending champions to 33 straight regular-season games.
Kawhi Leonard added 18 points and 14 rebounds for San Antonio, which has won 44 straight at home in the regular season, tied for the second-longest streak in NBA history.
The Spurs held Warriors superstar Stephen Curry to 14 points while limiting him to 1-for-12 shooting on 3-pointers.
San Antonio (59-10) moved within three games of Golden State (62-7) for the league's top seed with two games remaining between the two teams.
San Antonio was able to win a showdown between the league's top two teams with Tim Duncan coming off the bench for only the third time in his career.
The Spurs slowed the speedy Warriors to a more manageable pace in avenging a 120-90 loss in Golden State on Jan. 25 in the teams' only previous meeting this season.
Both teams had kept rolling since, and their combined .882 winning percentage coming into the game was the highest ever for a game this late in the season.
Curry was continually harassed by Danny Green, who blocked two shots while holding the MVP front-runner to 4-for-18 shooting.
Curry missed his first seven 3-point attempts and was blocked for the first time this season from long range when Green rose to stuff the mercurial guard in the first quarter. Curry was able to gather the block and raced wildly into the lane and threw an-over-the-shoulder pass toward Green that was stolen by the Spurs.
Golden State had seven turnovers in the first half and finished with 11 in remaining winless in San Antonio during the regular season since 1997, the season before Duncan was drafted.
Klay Thompson added 15 points for Golden State and Draymond Green had 11.
The Warriors were without starting center Andrew Bogut, forcing Warriors coach Steve Kerr to start Draymond Green at center alongside Harrison Barnes and Brandon Rush.
San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich opted to start Boris Diaw at center in place of Duncan and the change in starting lineup was beneficial immediately, as the 6-foot-8 Frenchman made his first three attempts as San Antonio took an 8-5 lead.
The Spurs were then able to slow down the Warriors, limiting the NBA's highest-scoring team to 37 points in the first half.
Warriors: Kerr drew a technical foul with 4 minutes left in the first quarter and nearly drew a second. Kerr grew enraged when officials failed to call what he saw as a push defensively, leading to a technical from Danny Crawford. Kerr continued to flail his arms and scream at the officials as Luke Walton unsuccessfully attempted to restrain him, but Kerr erupted in laughter when he saw Duncan giggling at him. . Curry has made at least one 3-pointer in 139 straight games, draining a 28-footer over Aldridge in the third quarter on his eighth attempt.
Spurs: San Antonio has trailed for only 9 minutes, 37 seconds in 408 fourth-quarter minutes at home. . The Spurs' Big Three of Duncan, Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili won its 570th game together, extending its NBA record among the league's top trios. . David West committed an intentional foul per Popovich's order, but the Spurs coach screamed "not now." Crawford initially blew his whistle when West grabbed a Warriors player, but signaled my mistake. Popovich and Kerr both chuckled over the foul that turned into a non-foul.
Warriors: At Minnesota on Monday.
Spurs: At Charlotte on Monday