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Spurs can't rally again as Warriors even series

Published on NewsOK Modified: May 9, 2013 at 1:33 am •  Published: May 9, 2013

SAN ANTONIO (AP) — The San Antonio Spurs said they were going to treat the opener of the Western Conference semifinals as a loss rather than the historic victory it was.

They don't have to pretend they lost to the Golden State Warriors at home anymore.

Klay Thompson had a career-high 34 points and 14 rebounds, Stephen Curry added 22 points and Golden State withstood another furious rally by the Spurs for a 100-91 victory Wednesday night to even their series and snap a 30-game skid in San Antonio.

The Warriors had not won in San Antonio since Feb. 14, 1997. None of their previous losses was as painful as the one Monday.

Golden State blew a 16-point lead with 4 minutes left in regulation in the series opener and lost 129-127 in double overtime. No NBA team had blown such a big lead with such little time left in a playoff game.

"What happened in Game 1 wasn't about their inexperience," Spurs veteran Manu Ginobili said. "It's one of those things that happens very rarely. We shouldn't have won that game. They came out hungrier and with more determination. They just did a much better job than us."

Golden State coach Mark Jackson insisted the Warriors' collapse would only help his team's growth, and indeed it did.

"I truly believe the trials and tribulations are transportation for where you're going," Jackson said. "Game 1 made us better. We didn't panic. We made plays. That's a heck of a basketball team that's extremely well-coached and has no quit in them. We don't have any quit in us, either. The bottom line is we made the plays we needed to make."

Tim Duncan scored 23 points and Tony Parker added 20 for San Antonio, which had won five straight in the postseason. Ginobili had 12 points and Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and 12 rebounds.

It appeared Golden State was headed for a similar collapse to Game 1 on Wednesday night, but the heartbreaking loss actually helped settle the players' nerves.

"Coach told us to have amnesia at halftime," Curry said. "We're a young team so that might help that we can forget about it and just keep playing and having fun, not worry about that 19-point lead getting cut to six. That's going to happen; you're on the road against a great veteran basketball team, so you can't get too rattled."

Golden State led by 20 points with 8:38 left in the third quarter, but San Antonio pulled within 97-89 on Ginobli's 3-pointer with 4:23 left in the game.

But it was the closest the Spurs would come, as they missed six straight shots before Cory Joseph sank a 16-footer with 18.9 seconds remaining.

"We put a couple of good minutes together and finally started getting a defensive rhythm," Duncan said. "We felt we were getting a couple of stops in a row and getting that together. We got some great shots on the other end in conjunction with that. It just wasn't enough."

Thompson, who scored 29 points in the first half, finished 8 for 9 on 3-pointers and 13 for 26 overall.

"Klay was unbelievable," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. "A lot of those shots were tough. Some of them were wide open because of mistakes, but other ones were difficult shots, either contested or off-balance, but he knocked them down. That's what the playoffs are about; players have to make shots."

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