Thursday, April 17, 2014
FAIRFIELD-SUISUN, CALIFORNIA
99 CENTS

Short-handed Spurs outlast Warriors, 104-102

OAKLAND — Tiago Splitter tipped in a rebound with 2.1 seconds left, lifting the short-handed San Antonio Spurs to a 104-102 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday night.

Stephen Curry hit a tying 3-pointer on the previous possession for the Warriors. After two misses by teammates, Splitter elevated around the rim to tap in the winning score.

San Antonio gave Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili the night off to rest, and Tony Parker sat out for the second straight game with a bruised right shin.

The Spurs still managed to get the road win, using big nights from Marco Belinelli, Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills to hand the Warriors another devastating defeat in a rematch of last season’s Western Conference semifinals.

Belinelli scored 28 points against his former team, Leonard had 21 points and 10 rebounds and Mills added 20 points and five assists in one of San Antonio’s most impressive wins this season. It was a season high in points for all three players.

David Lee had 32 points and 13 rebounds for the Warriors, who trailed by eight after three sloppy quarters. Curry scored 30 points and tied his career high with 15 assists.

The Warriors allowed a season-high 31 points off 24 turnovers. San Antonio gave up 19 points on 19 turnovers.

The Warriors started the final quarter on a 12-4 run, tying the game on Klay Thompson’s 3-pointer with 8:37 remaining. Curry gave Golden State the lead moments later with another from long range.

The teams traded scores for several minutes until San Antonio slowly began to pull away. Splitter hit two free throws, and Leonard followed with a difficult runner to give the Spurs a 100-97 lead with 2:52 to play.

After the Warriors closed within one, Boris Diaw blocked Curry’s layup and Mills jumped out of bounds to save the rebound. Golden State stopped San Antonio again, but Thompson missed a jumper on the other end — and Lee’s tip rimmed out.

Diaw followed with a dunk to put San Antonio up three. Then Andre Iguodala corralled Curry’s missed jumper, and handed it back to Curry, who made a 3-pointer at the top of the arc to even the score at 102-all with 28.7 seconds left.

In a wild scrum on San Antonio’s final possession, Belinelli missed a jumper, then Diaw’s tip bounced out. Splitter was unguarded in front of the rim, tipping the ball in for the go-ahead basket.

Warriors coach Mark Jackson called timeout, but his team got little out of the resulting play. Iguodala inbounded on the side to Curry, he was immediately doubled teamed and heaved a one-handed shot that was never close.

With its star trio out, San Antonio found another way to win in its first visit to Oracle Arena since eliminating the Warriors in Game 6 of the conference semifinals last season.

After the Warriors went ahead by 14 in the second quarter, Danny Green and Leonard led the Spurs back. The pair powered a 19-4 run that put San Antonio up 39-38 and left most of the announced crowd of 19,596 — the 50th straight sellout for the Warriors — stunned and silent.

The Spurs held a 53-51 halftime lead, and they didn’t relent after the break. Belinelli scored 17 points in the third quarter to help San Antonio to an 82-74 lead before Golden State rallied in the fourth.

NOTES: It was the first time in NBA history that three Australians started in the same game: Warriors center Andrew Bogut, and San Antonio’s Patty Mills and Aron Baynes. … San Antonio was 1-2 last season when Duncan, Ginobili and Parker all didn’t play, including a 116-106 loss at Golden State on April 15. … San Antonio makes its only other visit to Golden State on March 22.

The Associated Press

The Associated Press

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