Life after 30 for Warriors


SAN ANTONIO — Golden State coach Mark Jackson insisted the Warriors’ historic collapse in the opener of the Western Conference semifinals would only help his team’s growth.

The young Warriors took a big step in their development Wednesday night, withstanding another furious rally by the San Antonio Spurs for a 100-91 victory to even their series at one game apiece and snap a 30-game skid in the Alamo City.

Klay Thompson had a career-high 34 points and 14 rebounds, and Stephen Curry added 22 points for Golden State, which had not won in San Antonio since Feb. 14, 1997. None of the losses was as painful as the one Monday.

“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. Manu Ginobili had 12 points and Kawhi Leonard had 11 points and 12 rebounds.

The Warriors 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.

It appeared Golden State was headed for a similar collapse 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.

“What happened in Game 1 wasn’t about their inexperience,” 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.”

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.”

The Warriors did so as a group.

Harrison Barnes had 13 points, Carl Landry added 10 and Andrew Bogut had six points and 11 rebounds.

After scoring 44 points in the opener, Curry’s total was cut in half as he shot 7 for 20 from the field.

“I thought it was polite of (Curry and Thompson) to at least take turns and not both be on fire on the same night,” Popovich said. “Maybe the next iteration (of that) will be neither one of them will be hot in Game 3, that’s what I’m hoping.”

The Warriors host Game 3 on Friday night and Game 4 Sunday.

The double-overtime victory game appeared to leave San Antonio drained in the first half, while the Warriors were energized.

After missing his first two attempts in the series opener, Curry opened Game 2 with a pair of 3 pointers, one over a charging Duncan. He finished with 11 points in the quarter, going 3-for-4 from the field and 2-for-3 on 3s. He was limited to 9 minutes after picking up two fouls.

Curry’s second 3 sparked a 14-6 run that gave Golden State a 17-12 lead. He had eight points in the run and Thompson added five.

San Antonio went on an 8-2 run to pull within 46-39, forcing a 3-second call on Golden State’s defense and a pair of missed shots.

The Spurs focused their defense on Curry in the first half to varying success.

Curry did not score in the final 10 minutes of the first half, but his drives drew the defense and freed his teammates for open jumpers. He was credited with only two assists in the quarter, but his presence helped Golden State outscore San Antonio 30-24.

Thompson hit consecutive 3s sandwiched around three missed 3s by Danny Green to give the Warriors a 52-39 lead.

Thompson went 7-for-8 on 3s in the first half and was 11-for-18 overall, while being defended by Green and Leonard.

Heat 115, Bulls 78

MIAMI — Ray Allen scored 21 points in only 19 minutes, LeBron James finished with 19 points and nine assists, and the Miami Heat led by as many as 46 on the way to victory over the Chicago Bulls on Wednesday night that tied their Eastern Conference series at a game apiece.

It was the largest margin of victory in the Heat’s postseason history, topping a 35-point win over Orlando on April 24, 1997.

Joakim Noah and Taj Gibson were ejected in the fourth quarter for Chicago, and the league will almost certainly review some of the things said and done in a game that was close for the first 20 minutes before turning into an embarrassment for the Bulls, who were called for six technicals — the most by any team in a playoff game since Boston had that many against Indiana in 2005.

Marco Belinelli scored 13 points for the Bulls, who were without Luol Deng (illness) and Kirk Hinrich (calf). Carlos Boozer and Nate Robinson combined for 19 points on 6-of-19 shooting.

Heat 115, Bulls 78

CHICAGO (78)

Butler 3-8 1-1 9, Boozer 3-9 2-2 8, Noah 3-7 6-6 12, Robinson 3-10 3-6 11, Belinelli 4-13 3-3 13, Gibson 4-6 0-0 8, Teague 0-3 0-0 0, Cook 0-6 0-0 0, Mohammed 3-10 0-0 6, Radmanovic 3-3 0-0 9, Thomas 1-1 0-3 2. Totals 27-76 15-21 78.

MIAMI (115)

James 7-12 4-8 19, Haslem 1-1 0-0 2, Bosh 5-10 3-4 13, Chalmers 4-8 1-2 11, Wade 7-11 1-2 15, Battier 1-3 0-0 3, Allen 5-7 10-10 21, Cole 7-9 0-0 18, Andersen 2-2 3-3 7, Miller 1-2 0-0 2, Lewis 2-3 0-0 4, Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Anthony 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 42-70 22-29 115.

Chicago 20 21 15 22— 78

Miami 25 30 30 30—115

3-Point Goals—Chicago 9-23 (Radmanovic 3-3, Butler 2-4, Robinson 2-5, Belinelli 2-5, Cook 0-6), Miami 9-18 (Cole 4-4, Chalmers 2-4, Allen 1-2, Battier 1-3, James 1-3, Miller 0-1, Bosh 0-1). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Chicago 37 (Noah 6), Miami 53 (Cole 6). Assists—Chicago 17 (Belinelli 6), Miami 29 (James 9). Total Fouls—Chicago 27, Miami 24. Technicals—Gibson 2, Noah 2, Robinson, Teague, Chalmers, James, Wade. Flagrant Fouls—Andersen. Ejected —Gibson, Noah. A—19,817 (19,600).

Warriors 100, Spurs 91

GOLDEN STATE (100)

Barnes 5-14 3-4 13, Dr.Green 2-8 0-0 5, Bogut 2-3 2-4 6, Curry 7-20 6-9 22, Thompson 13-26 0-0 34, Jack 4-7 0-0 8, Ezeli 1-1 0-0 2, Landry 4-5 2-3 10. Totals 38-84 13-20 100.

SAN ANTONIO (91)

Leonard 5-11 1-5 11, Duncan 9-20 5-5 23, Bonner 1-3 0-0 2, Parker 7-17 5-7 20, Da.Green 4-12 0-0 10, Ginobili 5-12 1-2 12, Diaw 0-1 0-0 0, Joseph 1-1 0-0 2, Neal 2-9 1-1 6, Splitter 1-2 3-4 5, Mills 0-1 0-0 0, McGrady 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 35-89 16-24 91.

Golden State 28 34 21 17—100

San Antonio 23 20 29 19— 91

3-Point Goals—Golden State 11-23 (Thompson 8-9, Curry 2-6, Dr.Green 1-2, Jack 0-1, Barnes 0-5), San Antonio 5-21 (Da.Green 2-6, Parker 1-1, Neal 1-3, Ginobili 1-6, Mills 0-1, Bonner 0-1, Leonard 0-3). Fouled Out—None. Rebounds—Golden State 59 (Thompson 14), San Antonio 56 (Leonard 12). Assists—Golden State 19 (Dr.Green 5), San Antonio 14 (Ginobili 4). Total Fouls—Golden State 20, San Antonio 19. Technicals—Ezeli, Golden State defensive three second. A—18,581 (18,797).