OAKLAND, Calif. (AP)—Gregg Popovich had an easy time sizing up San Antonio’s latest victory as his team’s best performance yet.
No one could argue with the coach after the Spurs scored a season-best 36 points in the first quarter, led by 30 points at the break and almost doubled Golden State on the boards.
Tim Duncan had his NBA-leading 10th double-double by halftime on the way to 19 points and 12 rebounds in the Spurs’ fifth straight victory, 113-89 over the Warriors on Wednesday night.
“A good all-around game,” Popovich said. “At both ends of the court, I thought we probably played our finest game of the season so far. It was a bad combination for Golden State because I think they just had a bad night.”
Tony Parker added 26 points, six assists and five rebounds and Manu Ginobili had 14 points and five assists for the Spurs, who won for the eighth time in nine games with an impressive shooting performance. They made 17 of their first 23 shots to quickly turn this one into a rout, beating the Warriors for the fourth straight time.
Not only did San Antonio shoot well—55 percent for the game—but it pounded the glass to create second and third chances, and the Spurs’ crisp, quick passing led to numerous open shots against the sluggish Warriors.
Troy Murphy had 27 points for Golden State, which will have played 17 games in the first month without more than one day off between games. The difficult schedule, which also includes playing on consecutive nights four times, seems to be taking its toll. The Warriors are the league’s only team with such a schedule in the season’s opening month and they were a step behind most of the night.
“Or two (steps),” coach Mike Montgomery said. “They performed at an extremely high level and we obviously did not.”
Jason Richardson was held to 10 points, 12 below his team-best 22.4 average. Baron Davis wasn’t much better, managing just six points and five assists in one of Golden State’s worst offensive games this season.
Duncan scored back-to-back baskets to give San Antonio a 49-28 lead with 6:14 left in the second quarter, taking advantage of the cold-shooting Warriors’ troubles on both ends.
Despite their 10-2 start, the defending champion Spurs have been disappointed in their lack of consistency on defense, but also pleased they’ve still been able to win without playing their best.
The defense is slowly coming together.
“We played well tonight out of the gate and sustained it throughout,” Duncan said. “We jumped on them early, shot the ball really well, and defensively our rotations were there. We’re still a work in progress.”
Warriors rookie forward Ike Diogu made his NBA debut after missing the preseason and first 12 games after breaking a bone in his left hand during training camp Oct. 9. He hadn’t practiced at all with the team before the game.
Diogu received a warm ovation when he entered in the first quarter, then immediately gave up a short jumper to Nazr Mohammed. Diogu, wearing a padded glove over his tender hand, swished a 12-footer for his first points with 10:16 left in the second period and finished with 11 points and three rebounds.
“It feels really nice to finally get on the court,” Diogu said. “It’s good to be out there. It’s going to take a while to get back in the groove. I was a little rusty coming out.”
The Spurs needed double overtime to beat the Warriors 136-134 in the teams’ last meeting April 10, but dominated the boards this time to help put the game out of reach in a hurry.
San Antonio held a 33-11 rebounding edge at halftime and built a 66-36 lead at the break—the Warriors’ lowest halftime total this season.
Golden State held a closed-door meeting after the game and the locker room didn’t open for close to 30 minutes.
“We’re very disappointed in how we played tonight,” center Adonal Foyle said. “We were a little back on our heels and they brought it at us.”
Nick Van Exel, who played the 2003-04 season with Golden State before hurting his knee and returning to Houston to rehabilitate after playing only 39 games, was booed when he checked in to start the second quarter and then every time he touched the ball.
The Warriors shot 38 percent and lost for the 27th time in 31 games against the Spurs. … Diogu, selected ninth overall in the NBA draft out of Arizona State, will be eased into the system slowly, coach Mike Montgomery said. “I told him, ‘When in doubt, go post up,”’ Montgomery said. “What we don’t want him to do is just stand there not doing anything.” … Montgomery gave his players Thursday off for Thanksgiving, saying he didn’t think they would have accomplished much considering the team’s demanding November schedule.