The Golden State Warriors shed the demons of their playoff past and defeated the San Antonio Spurs on the road, 100-91, Wednesday night in Game 2 of the Western Conference Semifinals. Klay Thompson' s big first half and career-high 34 points were vital for the Warriors, but it was Stephen Curry who finished with two critical baskets that sealed the Spurs' fate and totaled 22 points on the night.
In the first half, the Warriors could do no wrong as Thompson scored 29 points on 11-of-18 shooting and 7-of-8 from the three-point line. Curry added 13 as a near afterthought, but clearly got the Spurs' attention as they played better defense in the second half. Golden State shot a blazing 52.2 percent from the field and 56.3 percent from deep. On the other side, San Antonio got production from Tim Duncan, who quietly put together a 17-point performance through two.
The major question heading into the second half was whether or not the Warriors could maintain their big lead and avoid a second collapse in as many games.
The Spurs fed off the crowd's energy at the start of the second half to make things interesting, and the third quarter was all San Antonio. The Spurs won the frame, 29-21, with tenacious defense focused on stopping Thompson and Curry and forcing them into tougher looks. Just when it looked as though the Ws may implode again, they closed out the game with stifling defense.
After mounting their furious comeback, however, San Antonio shot just 38.1 percent in the final quarter.
Toward the end of the fourth quarter, Curry hit a circus layup between two defenders to give the Warriors an eight-point lead. That shot is worth a second look:
The waning moments of the game played out when Curry hit a 20-foot shot from the top of the key to put the Warriors up by 10 as the shot clock ran out near the 1:50 mark. That proved to be enough to give the Warriors their first second-round playoff road win in 22 years. The win snapped Golden State's 30-game losing streak at San Antonio.
For San Antonio, Duncan led the way with 23 points and nine rebounds on 9-of-20 shooting. Tony Parker added 20 and six rebounds to go along with three assists. Kawhi Leonard had a strong game of his own with an 11-point, 12-rebound double-double.
Both teams took care of the ball well, committing just 10 turnovers each. The Spurs overcame their struggles from the field (39.3 percent overall) by scoring 20 second-chance points. They added 19 fast break points against just 10 by the Warriors.
With the series tied, 1-1, the teams will next square off at Golden State on Friday night at Oracle Arena.