After Curry goes down, Durant rallies Warriors past Spurs
ABS-CBN Sports on Mar 09, 2018 02:03 PM
Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant (35) shoots between San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) and forward Davis Bertans (42) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, March 8, 2018. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)n
By Janie McCauley, Associated Press
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Kevin Durant had 37 points, 11 rebounds and four blocked shots and almost single-handedly led the undermanned Golden State Warriors' fourth-quarter rally past the San Antonio Spurs for a 110-107 win Thursday night (Friday, PHL time) after Stephen Curry went down early.
Durant hit his third straight jumper to tie it with 2:01 remaining before the Warriors went ahead on Draymond Green's putback the following possession. Klay Thompson made two free throws with 15.9 seconds left.
Bryn Forbes' three-point try from the top to tie it hit the front rim as the final buzzer sounded.
Green had his third triple-double this season with 11 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists.
Curry was lost for the night to a rolled right ankle early in the first quarter, but the Warriors responded without their two-time MVP to win their seventh straight since the All-Star break.
Durant's 14-footer from the right wing with 3:14 left got Golden State within 103-101, and then he answered a Spurs basket with another jumper the next time.
The NBA Finals MVP blocked two shots in the first half to set a new career-high for a season and now has 108, besting the 105 blocks he had in 2012-13.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 30 points to lead the Spurs, who were without a star of their own after starting center Pau Gasol sprained the AC joint in his right shoulder late against Memphis on Monday.
Back-to-back Spurs dunks put San Antonio ahead 101-93 with 4:44 remaining before the defending champs mounted quite a comeback.
Golden State trailed 87-78 going into the final 12 minutes, earning a fourth straight win and eighth in 12 against San Antonio after a 122-105 home victory Feb. 10 (Feb. 11, PHL time).
Curry tweaked his troublesome right ankle driving left for a layup at the 9:38 mark of the first quarter with two Spurs around him. He limped into the tunnel grimacing in pain and frustration, then initially stayed in the game to shoot free throws before heading to the locker room. The team said he was getting re-taped and going through tests, then Curry didn't return — but the Warriors are going to be cautious at this stage of the season with the playoffs beginning next month.
Thompson began 2-for-10 and missed his first three tries from three before connecting from the top early in the fourth. He finished with 13 points and six assists. He needs one more three-pointer to reach 200 or more three's for the sixth straight season, which would tie Curry for an NBA record of most such seasons — and also for doing it in successive years. Ray Allen has the second-most seasons with 200-plus triples in NBA history at five.
Spurs: Before the game, coach Gregg Popovich joked that Kevin McHale would start at center in place of Gasol. McHale was on the call for TNT's broadcast of the game. ... San Antonio shot 8-for-22 in the first quarter and 1-of-5 from three-point range. ... The Spurs were just 6-of-22 from deep overall.
Warriors: Golden State's 10 turnovers matched its third-lowest total for the season. ... The Warriors were 1-of-11 on three's in the first half, trailing 50-46 at the break, and just 8-of-30 from long range — four of those three's from Durant. ... Raiders owner Mark Davis and coach Jon Gruden sat courtside.
Denise Long-Rife, who was the first woman drafted into the NBA by the San Francisco Warriors with the 13th pick in 1969, attended the game on International Women's Day.
"Very special day," she said. "I'm just very excited and honored to be here."
Reserve center David West missed his second straight game with an infected cyst in his right arm. The training staff is evaluating options to determine whether it will need to be removed, yet Kerr hoped to have West's situation resolved in the coming few days.
Rookie forward Jordan Bell, who sprained his right ankle Tuesday (Wednesday, PHL time) against Brooklyn, will be out through the weekend and re-evaluated Tuesday (next Wednesday, PHL time).
Andre Iguodala was sidelined with a sprained left wrist.
"This kind of sustained success is almost unheard of," Kerr said of the Spurs. "So what they've done is remarkable."
Spurs: At Oklahoma City on Saturday (Sunday, PHL time).
Warriors: At Portland on Friday (Saturday, PHL time) looking to avenge their last defeat, 123-117 on Feb. 14 leading into the All-Star break.