“We knew that they were going to get tired. I think three of their guys played 48 minutes (Tuesday) night,” Parker said. “So we wanted to keep attacking and somewhere in the game, they’ll miss three, four, five shots in a row and we can get a lead.”
One night after a season-high, 37-point performance in a 111-103 victory at Dallas, Ellis topped it by scoring 42 points on 16-of-25 shooting to tie his career high.
After playing all 48 minutes in each of the Warriors’ previous two games, Ellis finally left Wednesday’s midway through the fourth quarter but came back in with a little more than 3 minutes remaining. He finished with 44 minutes.
“I’d rather get 42 and the win than 42 and the loss,” Ellis said. “We had a chance to win. We had it right there. We made mistakes and they converted.
“But, man, we’re only playing with six or seven guys. We left it all on the court.”
Even with superior depth and with the Warriors playing on the road for the second straight night, the Spurs struggled to put away Golden State. San Antonio trailed with 3:52 remaining in the third period and didn’t take its first double-figure lead until the closing seconds of the quarter.
Parker, who finished 10 of 17 from the field, scored 12 points in the third as the Spurs upped the tempo and increased their defensive pressure. Golden State committed six turnovers in the period and shot 43.5 percent from the field after a 51 percent first half.
“We had a good run there at the end of the third quarter, beginning of the fourth where we made some stops and followed with some scores,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of the 33-10 burst that lasted nearly nine minutes.
“It’s always good to get a win the day before Thanksgiving. Makes the meal taste a lot better.”
Duncan and Parker returned to the San Antonio lineup in the fourth after the Warriors cut a 22-point lead to 12. Golden State closed the gap to 10 but got no closer the rest of the way.
Roger Mason(notes) Jr. scored 17 points, Richard Jefferson(notes) and George Hill(notes) added 12 apiece, and Antonio McDyess(notes) had 10 for the Spurs, who beat Golden State at home for the 23rd consecutive time.
The Warriors already had used more players by the 4:17 mark of the first quarter than they used Tuesday in Dallas, bringing in three substitutes at once after using just one the previous night.
By the second period, Ellis was the only Warriors starter who hadn’t been relieved. He finished the first half 12 of 15 from the field, but was limited to 12 second-half points on 4-of-10 shooting.
Golden State led by five with 3:05 left in the first half, but the Spurs’ depth and balance began to show as halftime approached.
“We hope the worst is over,” said Warriors assistant Keith Smart, who led an injury-riddled team for the second straight game in place of Don Nelson, who remained in California with pneumonia. “You play a high-energy game in Dallas, then you fly here to get yourself ready to go and give everything you can.
“They just didn’t have enough.”
Parker, who finished the half with 18 points and four assists, gave San Antonio the lead with a fast-break layup and a basket on a drive down the lane in the final minute. The Spurs were up 60-58 at the break.
NOTES: No timetable for Nelson’s return has been announced. … The Warriors’ last win in San Antonio came on Feb. 14, 1997.