San Antonio • Golden State coach Mark Jackson insisted the Warriors’ historic collapse in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals would only help his team’s growth.
The young Warriors took a big step in their development Wednesday night, withstanding another furious rally by the San Antonio Spurs for a 100-91 victory to even their series at one game apiece and snap a 30-game skid in the Alamo City.
Klay Thompson had a career-high 34 points and 14 rebounds, and Stephen Curry added 22 points for Golden State, which had not won in San Antonio since Feb. 14, 1997. None of the losses was as painful as the one Monday.
"I truly believe the trials and tribulations are transportation for where you’re going," Jackson said. "Game 1 made us better. We didn’t panic. We made plays. That’s a heck of a basketball team that’s extremely well-coached and has no quit in them. We don’t have any quit in us, either. The bottom line is we made the plays we needed to make."
Tim Duncan scored 23 points and Tony Parker added 20 for San Antonio, which had won five straight in the postseason. Manu Ginobili had 12 points and Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and 12 rebounds.
The Warriors blew a 16-point lead with 4 minutes left in regulation in the series opener and lost 129-127 in double overtime. No NBA team had blown such a big lead with such little time left in a playoff game.
It appeared Golden State was headed for a similar collapse Wednesday night, but the heartbreaking loss actually helped settle the players’ nerves.
"Coach told us to have amnesia at halftime," Curry said. "We’re a young team so that might help that we can forget about it and just keep playing and having fun, not worry about that 19-point lead getting cut to six. That’s going to happen; you’re on the road against a great veteran basketball team, so you can’t get too rattled."
Golden State led by 20 points with 8:38 left in the third quarter, but San Antonio pulled within 97-89 on Ginobli’s 3-pointer with 4:23 left in the game.
But it was the closest the Spurs would come, as they missed six straight shots before Cory Joseph sank a 16-footer with 18.9 seconds remaining.
"What happened in Game 1 wasn’t about their inexperience," Ginobili said. "It’s one of those things that happens very rarely. We shouldn’t have won that game. They came out hungrier and with more determination. They just did a much better job than us."Next Page >
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