San Antonio’s Tiago Splitter tipped in a rebound with 2.1 seconds left to give the Spurs a 104-102 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Thursday, taking a valuable win that came in the absence of their experienced star trio.
In the day’s other game, the Oklahoma City Thunder extended their winning streak to eight games with a 107-95 win over the Chicago Bulls.
Golden State came out on the losing end of a thrilling finish, with Stephen Curry hitting a three-pointer to tie the game, before San Antonio snatched the win on the next possession, as Splitter jumped around the rim to get the decisive touch after two teammates had missed chances to sink the winning basket.
San Antonio were missing Tony Parker for the second straight game with a bruised shin, while Tim Duncan and Manu Ginobili were rested, yet the Spurs still managed to pull out a big road win and hand the Warriors another devastating defeat in a rematch of last season’s Western Conference semi-finals.
Marco Belinelli scored 28 points for San Antonio, against his old team, while Kawhi Leonard and Patty Mills both topped 20 points in a season high for all three.
David Lee had 32 points and 13 rebounds for the Warriors, while Curry scored 30 points and tied his career high with 15 assists.
Oklahoma City’s Kevin Durant scored 32 points in the victory over the Chicago Bulls.
Russell Westbrook had 20 points for the Thunder, who improved to 13-0 at home this season — the only NBA team with a perfect home record.
Joakim Noah had 23 points and 12 rebounds for the injury-hit Bulls, who have lost four straight.
Chicago played without Kirk Hinrich (back tightness) and Luol Deng (sore Achilles), while Jimmy Butler left the game with an ankle injury.