Gameday Preview: Spurs @ Warriors - 12/19/13
Back to nearly full strength, the Golden State Warriors put it all together their last time out.
The San Antonio Spurs didn't miss a beat in their first game without their All-Star point guard.
Golden State tries to pick up a rare win against visiting San Antonio, which will be without Tony Parker again Thursday night.
The Warriors (14-12) had dropped nine of 14 before beating New Orleans 104-93 on Tuesday. Stephen Curry led the way with 28 points and 12 assists while David Lee scored 21 to go with a season-high 17 rebounds.
Golden State also got a boost from Andre Iguodala, who played 17 minutes in his first game back since missing 12 with a left hamstring injury. The All-Star forward had just two points and two assists but figures to play a much bigger role going forward.
"I got tired of watching," he said. "You get a new appreciation for the game, especially seeing your brothers struggle."
Iguodala, averaging 12.1 points and 6.0 assists, is also shooting 53.5 percent - well above his career mark of 46.1.
"He's a guy that makes life so much easier for everybody on the floor," coach Mark Jackson said. "His ability to make plays, his ability to read and react, we missed him. Glad to have him back."
Golden State again played without backup center Jermaine O'Neal, who has missed four straight games with a sprained wrist and is day-to-day.
After losing Parker to a bruised shin in Monday's 115-92 loss at the Clippers, San Antonio (20-5) bounced back two nights later with a 108-101 win at Phoenix. Manu Ginobili scored 11 of his season-high 24 points in the final four-plus minutes while Tim Duncan added 17 and 13 boards.
"It's like a bad nightmare," Suns forward Channing Frye said of Ginobili. "He's absolutely amazing. He just does a good job of continuing to push. I thought he was getting tired there at the end. Obviously, I was wrong."
Ginobili added seven assists and six rebounds as the Spurs scored 25 points off 19 turnovers.
"I played pretty well," Ginobili said. "In general the minutes I played I scored well and I moved the ball. I think I did OK. I'm very happy that I helped the team win because we are in a tough stretch. We lost the last one, we have a tough back-to-back without Tony and then Oklahoma City."
San Antonio beat the Warriors 76-74 in the first meeting Nov. 8 behind a team-high 18 points from Parker. While the Spurs are 18-2 in the last 20 regular-season matchups, those two defeats came in their last two visits to Golden State.
San Antonio is 53-10 in the series dating to April 1998, including last season's Western Conference semifinals, and must replace Parker's 18.9 points per game - his highest average against any team.
"It makes a difference, but they still find ways to execute and hurt you," Jackson said of Parker's absence. "They've got guys that know how to play and know how to win ballgames. "It's still going to be a challenge for us. ... They're going to run the same stuff, so we understand that, and we've got to be ready."
Near the top of the NBA with 24.3 points per game, Curry has scored at least 20 in a career-best 11 consecutive games. He didn't play against the Spurs last month due to injury.
Klay Thompson is averaging 15.3 points on 35.5 percent shooting over the last four games, well below his season marks of 20.1 and 46.1. The Warriors are just 5-10 when Thompson is held to 21 points or fewer.
The Spurs are 12-1 when Ginobili dishes out at least five assists.
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