May 9, 2013
Warriors bounce back against Spurs in Game 2
By Danny Sanchez, The Sports Xchange
SAN ANTONIO — A heartbreaking loss on Monday did not matter. A 30-game losing streak in San Antonio did not matter.
The young Golden State Warriors shook off the ghosts of the past and played with youthful bliss. And it was a sight to see.
Klay Thompson had a career-high 34 points, 29 in the first half, and Golden State earned a 100-91 win over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 2 of the Western Conference semifinals Wednesday night, tying the series 1-1.
A game after Stephen Curry had a franchise-playoff-record 44 points, Thompson joined him in the Golden State record book.
By halftime, Thompson had hit seven 3-pointers and was 11-for-18 from the floor on his way to a Warriors-record 29 first-half points. He also finished with a career-high 14 rebounds.
“I told him at halftime that is in the discussion (as) one of the greatest halves ever,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “I have the greatest shooting backcourt that’s ever played the game, and call my bluff.”
When the halftime buzzer sounded, sixth-seeded Golden State had a 62-43 lead over the second-seeded Spurs.
Curry finished with 22 points, Harrison Barnes 13 and Carl Landry 10 as the Warriors shot 11 of 23 from 3-point range.
Andrew Bogut added five points and 11 rebounds.
Curry made just seven of 20 shots, while Thompson finished 13 of 26, eight of nine on 3-pointers.
“I thought it was polite of them to at least take turns and not both be on fire on the same night,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of the Warriors backcourt. “Maybe the next iteration is neither one of them (Curry and Thompson) will be hot in Game 3. That’s what I’m hoping for.”
The win off-set the gut-wrenching, double-overtime loss to San Antonio on Monday night, and it ended Golden State’s 30-game losing streak on the Spurs’ home court that dated back to Feb. 14, 1997.
The Spurs, who crawled back from 16 down with four minutes play Monday, tried to repeat that performance.
They cut a 20-point, second-half deficit to six when Manu Ginobili hit a 3-pointer with two minutes left to make it 95-89.
This time, though, the Warriors held on.
Curry answered, scoring the final five points of the game for the Warriors and securing the win.
“Coach Jackson told us to have amnesia at halftime,” Curry said of the possibility of San Antonio making another comeback. “That’s basically it. We’re a young team, so that might help that we can forget about it and keep playing and have fun.”
San Antonio struggled offensively, only hitting five of 21 from 3-point range (23.8 percent), while shooting 39.3 percent from the field overall.
Tim Duncan led the Spurs with 23 points, with Tony Parker adding 20 and Danny Green 10. Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and 12 rebounds, and Ginobili, the hero Monday night, had 12.
“We didn’t shoot well,” Ginobili said. “We’ve got to give them credit. They played much better than us and miracles don’t happen that often. We didn’t deserve Game 1 either, so we really have to do a better job over there (at Golden State), because we don’t have a chance if we play like this.”
Thompson, who fouled out in Game 1, this time notched only two fouls and hounded Parker all game. He held the All-Star point guard to 7-of-17 shooting from the field and three assists.
“I’m not just a shooter-scorer, but I try to perfect my defense as well,” Thompson said.
The Spurs played from behind for most of the game after holding a three-point lead the first four minutes of the game.
Game 3 will be Friday at Golden State.
NOTES: The Spurs lost in the playoffs for the first time this year. ... San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich finished in fourth place in Coach of the Year voting. Popovich won the award last year, the second of his career. Warriors coach Mark Jackson finished seventh. Denver coach George Karl was the winner. ... Curry’s 44-point, 11-assist night Monday was the first 40/10 playoff performance since Michael Jordan had one in 1990. ... Duncan, along with Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, are the only players in NBA postseason history to record 4,000 points, 2,000 rebounds, 600 assists and 450 blocked shots. ... Asked before the game about his review of the last four minutes of Game 1 and his assessment of giving up a 16-point lead, Jackson replied, “I just told somebody that basically the screaming lady on TNT, she took the words right out of my mouth.”