The Golden State Warriors stole home-court advantage by virtue of their Game 2 win over the San Antonio Spurs and now the Western Conference semifinal series shifts to Oakland for Game 3 Friday night.
The Warriors blew the doors off the Spurs in San Antonio Wednesday night, 100-91. The score was not indicative of how much the Warriors dominated the Spurs on Wednesday, and ended a 30-game losing streak in San Antonio dating back to Feb. 14, 1997.
Golden State led by 19 at the half and the Spurs won the second half by 10. The 19-point deficit after two quarters was the largest playoff halftime hole for the Spurs in the Gregg Popovich era, one that has netted four championships.
Steph Curry has blossomed into a superstar during this postseason. He was amazing in Game 1 with 44 points, including 22 in the third quarter alone. The Warriors lost in double-overtime when Manu Ginobili made a 3-pointer with less than two seconds left, but that heartbreaking loss didn't slow Golden State.
Curry was great again on Wednesday, but only had 22. Game 2 belonged to his backcourt mate.
Klay Thompson had 34 points and 29 of those came in the first half. He buried a franchise playoff-record eight 3-pointers and even pulled down 14 rebounds.
"I told him at halftime that is in the discussion, one of the greatest halves ever," said Warriors coach Mark Jackson. "Not only what he did offensively, but what he did defensively."
Thompson has been charged with trying to stop Tony Parker and the All-Star guard had only 20 points on Wednesday on 7-for-17 shooting.
"It was a collective thing tonight. We did it as a team," said Thompson, who fouled out in Game 1. "I tried to use my length as much as I could to bother him."
One reason for concern for the Warriors has been that during this postseason, Golden State has had trouble keeping huge second-half leads. San Antonio erased a 16-point disadvantage in Game 1 and cut it to six a few times on Wednesday.
"I truly believe that trials and tribulations are transportation for where you're going," philosophized Jackson. "Game 1 made us better. We didn't panic. We made plays."
The Spurs could not, especially late. With the lead trimmed to six, San Antonio missed six consecutive shots and shot 39 percent from the field in Game 2.
"We didn't shoot it very well when we were open," said Popovich.
Tim Duncan paced the Spurs with 23 points, followed by Parker's 20. Ginobili, the hero in Game 1, had 12 points, but only connected on one 3-pointer in six attempts.
Kawhi Leonard registered a double-double with 11 points and 12 rebounds and Danny Green managed 10 points in the loss.
Now, San Antonio has to steal a game at Oracle Arena, one of the loudest and craziest venues in the league.
"Every game, whether it's home or away, is always a test in the playoffs," said Popovich.
The Warriors won all three home games against the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the postseason and took both contests in Oakland against the Spurs during the regular season.
San Antonio has won 11 of its last 16 on the road against Golden State. The Spurs captured both road matchups in their first-round sweep of the Los Angeles Lakers.
Game 4 will be Sunday afternoon.