The Warriors remained undefeated in postseason play after a 120-108 road victory over the Spurs in Game 3 on Saturday night. Kevin Durant posted a double-double, and scored 19 of his game-high 33 points in the third quarter. Stephen Curry recorded 21 points and six steals, JaVale McGee added 16 first-half points and all Golden State starters scored in double figures for the third time this postseason. With the win, the Warriors take a commanding 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.
For the first time in this series, neither side was able to build a 20-point lead at any point in the game. The Warriors did lead by 18 on four separate occasions, however, and possessed a double-digit advantage for the final 8:55 of the contest.
Danny Green opened the scoring to give San Antonio their first lead since Game 1, but JaVale McGee tied the score 11 seconds later with two free-throws, and continued to get rolling from there. McGee accounted for Golden State’s first seven points of the game, giving the Dubs a 7-4 lead on a 3-point play at the 9:29 mark of the first quarter.
Stephen Curry then drained his first of three 3-pointers on the night to surpass Rick Barry as the Warriors’ all-time postseason scoring leader. He’d add another trey with 6:43 remaining in the first frame, but would pick up his second personal foul and be subbed out at the 4:09 mark, at which point Golden State led 21-19.
Durant – 33
Curry – 21
Thompson – 17
Durant – 10
Green – 7
Thompson – 6
Curry – 7
West – 5
Durant – 4
Ginobli – 21
Aldridge – 18
Simmons – 14
Gasol – 10
Anderson – 9
Green – 8
Mills – 6
Anderson – 5
Simmons – 5
Back-to-back scores from David Lee soon after tied the score at 23-23, and after Kevin Durant put the Warriors back in front with a layup. San Antonio then reeled off an 11-2 run to take a 33-27 lead on Manu Ginobli’s two free-throws with one second left. Golden State would steal back the momentum, however, as David West found Ian Clark with a full-court pass on the ensuing rebound, and Clark promptly laid it in at the quarter buzzer to cut it to a four-point deficit at the end of one.
Klay Thompson converted his first 3-pointer of the game 83 seconds into the second quarter, and would add another one at the 7:31 mark to tie the game at 41-41. McGee scored again on Golden State’s next possession, and the Warriors would not trail for the rest of the night.
The two sides would trade scores over the next three minutes, and Jonathan Simmons eventually tied the game for the eighth and final time at 49-49 with 4:09 remaining in the first half.
Durant’s 3-pointer on the ensuing possession would ignite a 12-0 Warriors run in response, which he bookended with a free-throw with 1:28 left in the second quarter. The Spurs would answer back with six straight points before David West sank a corner 3-pointer with 10 seconds left to send the game into halftime with Golden State holding a 64-55 advantage.
After Thompson converted his third and final 3-pointer of the game 48 seconds into the second half, LaMarcus Aldridge scored eight consecutive points to pull San Antonio within 69-65 with 10:12 remaining in the third quarter. Simmons cut it to a three-point deficit on a 14-foot jumper at the 8:07 mark, but that was as close as they’d get for the remainder of the contest. Curry halted the momentum with a jumper, after which Durant dropped in two free-throws to begin a stretch in which he’d single-handedly outscore the Spurs through the remainder of the third frame.
He’d add 16 more points in the ensuing four minutes, including a sequence in which he’d account for nine straight Warriors points over a span of three offensive possessions. San Antonio closed the quarter on an 8-2 run after Durant dropped in the final two of his postseason career-high 19 points in the frame, but the damage had been done. Golden State took a 100-88 lead into the fourth and final quarter, and the Spurs would never be able to dig themselves out of that hole.
San Antonio would carry that momentum over into the fourth frame, and close within 103-95 after Aldridge split free-throws with 9:26 remaining. Thompson nailed a 16-foot jumpshot 30 seconds later, however, and the Warriors would lead by double digits for the rest of the night.
That Thompson bucket would start a 10-0 Golden State run that would give the Dubs their largest lead of the entire game at 113-95 with 7:13 left to play. The Warriors would tie that 18-point advantage twice more, as Curry’s final 3-pointer of the night with 3:44 remaining put Golden State up 118-100 and provided the final nail in the coffin. Mike Brown pulled the starters soon after, as the Warriors’ reserves finished off the eventual 120-108 road win.
With the victory, Golden State take a 3-0 lead in the series and become just the third team in NBA history to begin a postseason with 11 straight wins. They’ll attempt to complete the series sweep when the two sides meet again for Game 4 in San Antonio on Monday.
By Andy Fahey for gswarriors.com
First appeared on NBA.com Global