Spurs 147, Warriors 116
SAN ANTONIO (AP)
The Golden State Warriors have lost 24 consecutive times in San Antonio, but they've never seen anything here like this.
Ditto for Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.
Scoring the most points in a game in nearly 20 years, the Spurs throttled the Golden State Warriors 147-116 on Friday night in the most points scored under Popovich since he took over in 1996. Manu Ginobili scored 23 points, and Richard Jefferson had 21 for the Spurs, who've won nine of their last 11.
``The win is more important than the points,'' Spurs guard George Hill said.
It was nonetheless impressive.
Not since a 140-91 win against Dallas to open the 1991-92 season had the Spurs scored so many points in a single game.
Monta Ellis scored 39 points for the Warriors, who haven't won in San Antonio since Valentine's Day in 1997 and whose defense was dreadful even by their NBA-worst standards. The Spurs shot 65 percent from the field and flirted with eclipsing 70 before emptying their bench for the entire fourth quarter.
The Warriors didn't dwell much on the blowout.
``Got another one tomorrow, so I'm not worrying about this,'' Ellis said. ``I'm glad it's over with.''
It was over even earlier for Don Nelson. The Golden State coach was ejected late in the late first quarter for apparently arguing a foul called against C.J. Watson, earning Nelson two quick technicals.
Assistant coach Keith Smart took over from there, but he declined after the game to elaborate on what happened. The Warriors didn't have answers, either.
``It's mind-boggling,'' said Corey Maggette, who scored 30 points.
Livid as Nelson was with referee Matt Boland, few at the AT&T Center seemed to notice Nelson's ejection - fans were distracted while giving a standing ovation to gold medal bobsledder Justin Olsen.
The Spurs looked practically Olympic-caliber thanks to the lowly Warriors.
After scoring just 84 points in a loss to Orlando on Wednesday, the Spurs already had 77 on the scoreboard by halftime against Golden State.
The eye-popping numbers didn't stop there.
The Spurs led 121-90 at the end of the third quarter - just 10 points shy of their previous single-game high this season. San Antonio missed just three shots in the third and already had a season-high 34 assists by then, and finished the game with 39.
Tim Duncan had 17 points on 8-of-8 shooting, but most importantly played just 14 minutes. The Spurs will need their 33-year-old All-Star as fresh as possible for what's ahead: their toughest five-game stretch of the season, starting with Atlanta on Sunday.
From there, the Spurs will face Oklahoma City, the Lakers, Cleveland and Boston. Even though the Spurs are playing one of their best stretches of the season, they're still fighting to move up from the seventh spot in the playoff picture.
The Spurs are looking at the standings. But Popovich said that's about it.
``It's a waste of time to want and desire (to move up),'' Popovich said. ``Go play, and you are where you are.''
Reggie Williams had 15 points, and Watson had 11 for the Warriors, who played again without Stephen Curry. The rookie missed his second straight game because of a sprained left ankle after being the lone Warriors player to appear in every game this season before this week.
NOTES: The previous record for points scored under Popovich was 136 in a double-overtime win against - guess who - Golden State in April 2005... The Spurs franchise record for points in regulation is 163 set against the then-San Diego Clippers in 1978. ... The Spurs never trailed.