Once again, the Spurs got off to a terrific start in the first quarter. Making up for some of the strange decisions made against the Kings on Friday, the boys from San Antonio went back to the style that has propelled them to the league's best record this season, whipping the ball around on offense and repeatedly finding open looks for everyone. After an 11-0 run midway through the first quarter, the Spurs had a 22-7 lead and it appeared they were on their way to yet another shorthanded victory over the Warriors.
Not so fast. The Warriors, led by Stephen Curry (20 points) and Klay Thompson (16), played with tenacity in the second quarter, going on an extended scoring run of their own and cutting the Spurs' cozy double-digit lead down to just three at halftime, 50-47.
Starting in place of Tim Duncan, Boris Diaw really struggled with his shot tonight, despite being among the league leaders in field goal percentage this season. Still, his efforts weren't wasted entirely, as he kept the ball moving on offense and harassed the usually-steady David Lee (13 points, 5-11 FG) into an off night of his own.
The third quarter was hotly contested and the Warriors grabbed their first lead of the game early. With both teams trading baskets, neither squad was able to gain any significant separation on the scoreboard until the final minutes of the frame, when Marco Belinelli (15 points) exploded for several clutch buckets to give San Antonio a seven point advantage, 76-69, going into the fourth.
Side note: Does anyone else think Jermaine O'Neal is trolling the NBA with that abomination of a free throw stroke he has? Seriously, it's uglier than homemade soap.
Speaking of trolling the league, Pop began the fourth quarter with a front-court featuring reserve forwards Jeff Ayres and Austin Daye. They held their own pretty well defensively, biding some time until Tiago Splitter and Diaw checked back in. An 11-0 run by the Spurs near the middle of the quarter pushed the San Antonio lead to 13 points as Danny Green (18 points, 5-9 from downtown) got hot from distance at just the right time. In the end it was Tony Parker (20 points), a reliable closer all season, who guided San Antonio to their 13th straight victory, winning 99-90.
Your Spurs maintain the league's best record at 53-16 and will look to keep it going on Monday when they face off against the Philadelphia 76ers who are on a double-digit streak of their own, having the dubious distinction of now losing 24 straight games after tonight's defeat at the hands of the Chicago Bulls.
For the opponent's perspective check out Golden State Of Mind.