Warriors use second-half run to pull away from Spurs
SAN ANTONIO, TX - MAY 20: Draymond Green #23 of the Golden State Warriors dunks against the San Antonio Spurs in Game Three of the Western Conference Finals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs on May 20, 2017 AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas. (Photos by Mark Sobhani/NBAE via Getty Images)
By Raul Dominguez, Associated Press
SAN ANTONIO (AP) - Klay Thompson scored 27 points, Kevin Durant had 24 and the Golden State Warriors overcame a lethargic first half to beat the injury-riddled San Antonio Spurs 112-92 on Thursday night (Friday, PHL time).
Steph Curry added 21 points for Golden State in its first meeting against the Spurs since sweeping the Western Conference finals en route to the NBA title.
The Spurs played without Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, as they did in the conference finals. Unlike those blowout victories, Golden State struggled to close out San Antonio.
Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge had 24 points and 10 rebounds, continuing his resurgent season. Kyle Anderson added 16 points in place of Leonard, whose return from an injured right quadriceps is still undetermined.
The Warriors took their first lead two minutes into the third quarter at 60-57 on Durant's three-pointer.
Aldridge and Pau Gasol took and made the Spurs' first two three-pointers. The Spurs made four of their first six three-pointers in running to a 22-12 lead. San Antonio led 31-12 lead after Golden State went scoreless for 4.5 minutes midway through the opening period.
Golden State slowly cut into the lead behind its defense. After shooting 48 percent in the first quarter, the Spurs were held to 33 percent in the second quarter. San Antonio was 1-for—5 on three-pointers and 7-for-21 overall in the second quarter.
The Spurs finished 7-for-24 on three-pointers, failing to make a triple in the second half after draining six in the opening quarter.
Zaza Pachulia, making his first appearance in San Antonio since Leonard was lost after landing on the center's foot in Game 1, was heavily booed throughout the game.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was ejected with 4:47 remaining in the game after complaining that traveling was not called on Patrick McCaw minutes after Aldridge was assessed a traveling violation.
Warriors: Golden State has made at least 10 three-pointers in each of its games this season. The Warriors were 14-for-28 on three’s against the Spurs. ... Thompson has a three-pointer in 63 straight games, the league's longest active streak. ... Durant has scored at least 20 points in all but one of the team's nine games this season. ... The Warriors shot 96-for-166 in their previous two games. ... JaVale McGee played in his 500th career game. ... Golden State closes out a three-game trip in Denver.
Spurs: Leonard and Parker have played a combined three quarters against the Warriors in the last five games, including the postseason. ... Parker missed the entire conference finals with a ruptured quadriceps tendon and Leonard aggravated an ankle injury in the third quarter of the opening game. ... Mills made his 600th career three-pointer, 551 of which have come with the Spurs. ... San Antonio is 62-19 at home against Golden State.
Warriors: Visit Denver on Saturday night (Sunday, PHL time) trying to end a two-game skid against the Nuggets.
Spurs: Host Charlotte on Friday night (Saturday, PHL time) in the second of a six-game homestand.