Jackson: 'That is in the discussion for one of the greatest halves ever'
Klay Thompson picked a good time to set a new career-high in points, as he scored 34 to lead the Warriors to a win in Game 2. (AP)
SAN ANTONIO -- Klay Thompson set a career-high with 34 points and Golden State ended a 30-game, 16-year losing streak in San Antonio with a 100-91 win Wednesday to even its Western Conference semifinal series with the Spurs at 1-1.
The Warriors led by as many as 20 in the second half before San Antonio -- showing shades of Game 1 -- put together an inspired rally to make it interesting. Golden State's lead shrunk to as few as six in the fourth quarter, but Warriors coach Mark Jackson maintained he wasn't worried.
"The reason why is because I truly believe trials and tribulations are transportation for where you're going," he said. "Game 1 made us better. We didn't panic, we made plays."
Each time the Spurs seemed to be on the verge of taking over, Golden State had an answer.
Thompson hit a three to close the third, Draymond Green hit another to put the Warriors up nine with 6:50 left and a finger roll from Stephen Curry made it an 8-point game with 3:42 on the clock.
With momentum and homecourt advantage on its side, Golden State will return to Oracle Arena on Friday having proved Monday's epic collapse wasn't a series-ender.
Curry scored 22 points, while Harrison Barnes added 13 for Golden State.
The first half belonged to Thompson, who scored 29 points and needed just 24 minutes to tie the franchise record for for 3-pointers in a playoff game (7).
Golden State led 62-43 after Thompson knocked down 7-of-8 from deep, falling one shy of Vince Carter's NBA playoff record for threes in a half. Thompson hit his only 3-point attempt in the second half, which left him one shy of the NBA single-game playoff record.
"I told him at halftime that is in the discussion for one of the greatest halves ever," Jackson said. "Not only for what he did offensively, but for what he did defensively (guarding Tony Parker)."
Combined with Curry's 13 first-half points, Golden State's starting backcourt (42) nearly outscored the entire Spurs team.
"I said I've got the greatest shooting backcourt to ever play the game," Jackson said. "Call my bluff."
After scoring 44 points in Game 1, Curry -- relative to his own performances -- cooled off in Game 2. He was just 7-of-20 from the field, including 2-of-6 from three.
"I thought it was polite of them to at least take turns and not both be on fire in the same night," Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.
For Thompson, the performance served as redemption for Game 1, when he fouled out late in regulation and watched helplessly as the Spurs mounted a 16-point comeback in the final four minutes.
"It was tough losing Game 1 because I felt like I was barely out there due to foul trouble, even though I did play 32 minutes," Thompson said. "Being in foul trouble and watching from the bench is one of the hardest things to do. I thought I showed that I learned from that tonight."
Tim Duncan scored 23 points to lead San Antonio and Parker chipped in with 20.
Starting lineup carousel
The chess match between Popovich and Jackson started before the game began. Jackson announced he would use the same starting lineup as Game 1 at the morning shootaround, then confirmed that was still the plan during his pregame press conference. Popovich also said he would use the same starting line up only to replace Boris Diaw with Matt Bonner shortly before tipoff. When Jackson found out, he went with Draymond Green over Festus Ezeli.
It was the fifth different starting lineup Jackson has used in eight playoff games.
- Klay Thompson set a career highs in both points (34) and rebounds (14). He joins Harrison Barnes and Draymond Green as the third Warrior to set their career high in scoring during the postseason.
- In his first career playoff start, Draymond Green dished out a career-high five assists.
- On his first of two threes, Curry set a new franchise career 3-point playoff record. All 31 have come this year.
- Andrew Bogut became the first Warrior since Larry Smith (1987) to record at least three consecutive double-digit rebounding games.
- The win marked the first road victory past the first round of the playoffs for Golden State since 1991.
- Before Wednesday, Tim Duncan had never lost at home to the Warriors in his NBA career.
- San Antonio forward Tiago Splitter made his first appearance since spraining his ankle in Game 3 against the Lakers, but wasn't much of a factor. He scored five points in just under 10 minutes.
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Even playing field !!— Harrison Barnes (@HBarnes) May 9, 2013
Great win! Back to the Bay!! Who's meeting me at the Oracle on Friday!!!!???? #DubNation— Kent Bazemore (@KentBazemore20) May 9, 2013
Great win tonight!!!! Broke the streak now lets get Roaracle rocking on Friday!!!! #dubnation— Draymond Green (@Money23Green) May 9, 2013
Great win! Headed back to the bay. I swear the basket moved on my FT! :) #poohappens— Andrew Bogut (@andrewbogut) May 9, 2013