San Antonio held the Golden State Warriors’ vaunted backcourt to a miserly 13 points, laying the foundation for a 109-91 victory on Tuesday that gave the Spurs a 3-2 lead in the NBA Western Conference semi-finals.
The Indiana Pacers also moved within one win of a place in the conference finals by beating the New York Knicks, taking a 3-1 lead.
San Antonio’s Tony Parker had 25 points and 10 assists, while Kawhi Leonard added 17 points. Danny Green scored 16, and Tim Duncan had 14 points and 11 rebounds for the Spurs.
However, the story of the game was who did not score, much.
Described by coach Mark Jackson as the “greatest shooting backcourt” in National Basketball Association (NBA) history, Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were held to six-for-22 shooting.
Curry finished with nine points, going one for seven on three-pointers, while Thompson was held to four points, not even attempting a three.
Curry has not missed any time since turning his right ankle late in Game 3, but the injury seemed to limit his explosiveness.
Leonard stripped Curry and then outran him to the ball midway through the first quarter, feeding Parker for an uncontested layup. Curry appeared to grimace when he attempted to push off to sprint for the loose ball.
Harrison Barnes scored 25 points, while Jarrett Jack added 20 and Carl Landry 16 for Golden State. No other Warriors player had more than nine points.
The Spurs led for all but the opening six minutes of the game.
San Antonio went on a 12-2 run to take a 102-84 lead with four minutes remaining.
The Warriors missed two shots and had two turnovers to facilitate the Spurs’ run.
San Antonio shot 72 percent in the first quarter, pounding the ball inside for layups and kick-outs to open shooters in taking a 10-point lead.
Duncan battered Andrew Bogut early, making San Antonio’s first three baskets on a drive and a jumper over the Australian, and on a layup against Landry off a hard pick by Tiago Splitter.
San Antonio went on a 15-0 run on a series of drives to the basket and low-post moves, taking a 27-15 lead.
Curry and Thompson were held to a combined four points on two-for-10 shooting in the opening 16 minutes, but Barnes had 13 points and Jack seven.
Curry did not make his first three until there were two minutes left in the first half.
The Spurs stopped going inside in the second quarter, helping Golden State rally.
The Spurs returned to attacking the basket in the third, resulting in another double-digit lead.
Meanwhile, Indiana’s George Hill scored 26 points and Paul George added 18 points and 14 rebounds to lead the Pacers to a 93-82 victory over New York.
Indiana need one more win to reach the conference finals for the first time since 2004. Game 5 is scheduled for today at Madison Square Garden.
NBA scoring champion Carmelo Anthony fouled out with 24 points. J.R. Smith had 19 on another dreadful night for the Knicks.
The game followed a familiar pattern. New York’s shooting was off, Indiana had a huge rebounding edge and the Knicks could not challenge in the second half.
New York did not hang around long, either. Indiana closed the first quarter on a 9-2 run to break a 14-14 tie. New York never got closer than five the rest of the way.
Indiana improved to 5-0 at home in the playoffs and has won each time by double digits. The Pacers and Memphis Grizzlies are the only teams that have not lost at home during the postseason.