SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The San Antonia Spurs aren’t concerned with making statements. They just want to pile up as many victories as they can late in the season.
DeMar DeRozan had 26 points and nine rebounds, LaMarcus Aldridge added 23 points and 13 rebounds and Spurs beat the Golden State Warriors 111-105 on Monday night for their ninth straight win.
“We’re just trying to get wins, man, that’s all,” Spurs forward Rudy Gay said. “We’ve had wins, we’ve had big wins, we’ve had some bad losses, (too). It just feels good to win the games we think we should.”
San Antonio won its 11th straight at home and moved into fifth in the Western Conference following the Thunder’s loss to Miami. The Spurs also clinched a winning record for the 22nd straight season.
Stephen Curry had 25 points after a slow start and Kevin Durant added 24 for the Warriors, who entered the game having won two straight. Golden State dropped into a tie with Denver for first place in the West with matching 47-22 records.
“That’s the hottest team in the league and obviously really well-coached,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “They were executing and I thought they outexecuted us, outcoached us. They deserved to win.”
San Antonio’s winning streak is second only to Golden State’s 11 straight wins earlier this season. Remarkably, the Spurs’ longest winning streak since 2016 comes directly after they went 1-7 for their worst Rodeo Road Trip ever.
San Antonio has beaten Golden State, Denver, Milwaukee, Oklahoma City, Portland and Detroit during its streak. All of those clubs are among the top six teams in their conference.
“Guys are playing better,” Aldridge said of the turnaround. “We’re trying to be better defensively. Communication has been better and it’s just winning time. I think everyone senses that.”
Golden State was without DeMarcus Cousins and Andre Iguodala, who both sat with injuries, but remained within two possessions in the final minute.
The Warriors had to rally in the second half after a sluggish start.
Curry and Klay Thompson opened the game a combined 0 for 11, but the Warriors’ defence allowed them to tie the game at 25 when Curry threw in a 61-footer to close the first quarter.
Curry finished nine for 25 from the field and Thompson finished with 14 points on 5-for-18 shooting. Thompson said the “Splash Brothers” struggles were their own rather than anything the Spurs did defensively.
“Just missed shots,” Thompson said. “That’s all it is. Shots that we normally hit, too. Yeah, they’re a smart disciplined team but it’s not like we weren’t getting to our spots and getting good looks. Just didn’t go in.”
After trailing by 11 in the third quarter, the Warriors’ offence awoke to silence the sold-out crowd with a 16-5 run to forge a 75-all tie. The run included a shakedown, step-back three-pointer by Curry and a pair of quick passes from Curry to Draymond Green to Shaun Livingston for an emphatic dunk. Curry had eight points in the run.
“Every time we made a run, they countered and they made a run,” Green said.
DeRozan scored 10 points in the final quarter, including a pair of pull-up jumpers over Thompson, to seal the victory.