The Spurs fought, battled and played better, but ultimately could not keep pace with the Warriors in the second half en route to a 116-101 Game 2 loss Monday night in Oakland.
The Warriors lead their first round, best-of-seven series against the Spurs 2-0. The series now shifts to San Antonio for Games 3 and 4.
Unlike Game 1, the Spurs came out with more intensity from the start and led, 25-23, after the first quarter.
San Antonio trailed by as much as 28 points and never led the first game of the series.
LaMarcus Aldridge asserted himself early with 17 points in the first half and the decision to start Rudy Gay benefited San Antonio’s offensive spacing and ball movement.
The Spurs led by six at halftime, 53-47, and their defense had also contained Warriors star Klay Thompson up to that point.
San Antonio struggled with turnovers to start the second half after committing only two in the first.
That helped the Warriors regain the lead in the third quarter, but the Spurs behind Aldridge fought back to retake the lead 67-66 with 4:44 left in the quarter. That was their last lead Monday night.
Golden State went on a 14-8 run to close the quarter and led 80-75 headed into the fourth.
Thompson then took over the game, scoring 16 of his 31 points in the quarter as Golden State grew the lead to as much as 15 points. San Antonio cut the lead to 98-89 with 5:24 left but did not get any closer.
Kevin Durant scored a team high 32 points for the Warriors who outscored the Spurs 69-48 in the second half.
Popovich on Aldridge (34/12) tonight: "LaMarcus has been a monster all year long...doesn't complain...can't imagine being more proud of a player, being there for his teammates night after night" (via @NBATV ) #KSATsports #ksatnews #Spurs #NBA pic.twitter.com/P3Q5ziKVxw— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) April 17, 2018
LaMarcus Aldridge postgame after 34 pt, 12 reb effort...says "we're not going to roll over" as #Spurs head back home for Games 3-4 vs #Warriors (via @NBATV ) #KSATsports #KSATnews #GoSpursGo #NBA pic.twitter.com/FgU1jQzLqe— RJ Marquez (@KSATRJ) April 17, 2018
Aldridge did all he could, scoring 34 points and grabbing 12 rebounds, for San Antonio. Patty Mills scored 21 points and Gay added 12 points.
Game 3 will be played at the AT&T Center on Thursday night.