There was a little more animosity than your average regular season game in Friday's matchup between the Spurs and the Warriors; it was the first time the two had met since last year's playoffs. For both teams, this was a reminder of last year's draining six-game playoff series. And as it went in the playoffs, the Spurs came out on top, winning, 76-74.
Golden State was left at a disadvantage as its best player, Stephen Curry, was sidelined from the contest with a bruised left ankle. Curry -- who is arguably the best shooter in the NBA -- injured that ankle in the third quarter of the Warriors' 106-93 victory over the Minnesota Timberwolves on Wednesday night.
Second-year forward Harrison Barnes started in the place of Curry, and Andre Iguodala took over the main ball-handling responsibilities. It was the same unorthodox lineup that the Warriors employed in Wednesday night's victory when Curry went down. Iguodala, forced into a new role, turned the ball over six times. Toney Douglas, who Golden State acquired this summer, filled in at point guard from the bench, finishing with 21 points on 5-of-9 shooting.
The Warriors struggled to get going offensively without its star, scoring just 33 points in the first half. San Antonio's defense was everywhere, forcing 10 turnovers and holding Golden State -- the sixth best offensive team per Basketball-Reference -- to 37.5 percent shooting from the field.
The game closed in the second half as Golden State cut the Spurs' lead to two. Tony Parker missed both free throw tries with 16.4 seconds remaining and the Spurs up 76-74, but Iguodala's last-second shot rimmed out as time expired.
For the Spurs, Friday night's win was the second in a row to end with opposing team's game-tying shot rimming out at the buzzer. On Wednesday night, Phoenix Suns guard Gerald Green missed a last-second three-pointer.
Golden State's high-powered offense, which has scored a league leading 110.8 points per game through the first five games, struggled without the presence of Curry, who is averaging 19 points and nine assists in the young season. The Warriors shot just 10 free throws Friday night and turned the ball over 19 times.
Credit goes to the Spurs defense, who entered Friday night's game with the sixth best defensive efficiency, per Basketball-Reference. Klay Thompson and David Lee were held to a combined 10-of-29 shooting from the field and the pair committed six turnovers.
Parker led the way for the Spurs with 18 points, five rebounds and four assists on 7-of-14 shooting. Kawhi Leonard chipped in 13 points, collected seven boards and recorded four steals. He shot an efficient 6 of 8 from the floor.