OAKLAND, Calif. — Down and dominated during most of the first two games at home, the San Antonio Spurs once again showed why nobody should ever count them out.
Tony Parker scored 25 of his 32 points in a sizzling first half, Tim Duncan added 23 points and 10 rebounds, and the Spurs quieted the Golden State Warriors and their rowdy sellout crowd in a 102-92 victory Friday night to take a 2-1 lead in the Western Conference semifinals.
“We made shots and they didn’t have as good a night shooting the ball,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said. “Sometimes it’s as simple as that.”
Kawhi Leonard finished with 15 points and nine rebounds, and Parker added five assists and five boards to help the Spurs wrestle back home-court advantage from the Warriors after withstanding a brief fourth-quarter rally.
San Antonio outshot Golden State 50.6 to 39.3 percent and curbed streaky shooters Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson for the first time in the series.
Thompson scored 17 points on 7-for-20 shooting, while Curry had 16 points while going 5-for-17 from the floor. Curry sprained his left ankle again in the final minutes. He was icing his ankle in the locker room and his status moving forward is unclear.
Andrew Bogut added 11 points and 12 rebounds for Golden State but was saddled with foul trouble most of the second half. Game 4 in the best-of-seven series is Sunday in Oakland.
After falling behind by 10 points entering the fourth quarter, the Warriors scored the first nine of the period in fewer than 2 minutes. They capped the run by slicing San Antonio’s lead to 79-78 when Bogut blocked Duncan’s layup, and Draymond Green started a three-point play by drawing a foul on Duncan with a pull-up jumper.
Parker put San Antonio back ahead by seven with a 3-pointer before leaving briefly with an apparent left leg cramp. Trainers wrapped his leg while he was on the bench and he showed no signs of slowing down when he returned.
With Parker on the bench, Duncan converted a three-point play and Leonard added a layup to cap an 11-1 run that gave San Antonio a 90-79 lead with 5:39 to play.
Most of Golden State’s yellow-shirt wearing crowd of 19,596 silenced after Curry came off a curl and his left ankle — which he sprained in Game 2 in the first round against Denver but seemed to be back to full strength — landed awkwardly when he planted his feet to receive the ball. Curry limped around but stayed in the game, with nervous chants of “Curry! Curry!” breaking out.
The Warriors moved within five points on Harrison Barnes’ pull-up jumper with 2:48 to play but never got closer. After starting 3-0 at home in the playoffs, Golden State fell short again in maybe the biggest basketball game in the Bay Area in decades.
The Warriors have not held a series lead beyond the first round since the 1975-76 season, when they went up 2-1 and 3-2 against Phoenix in the conference finals and lost. That also was last time the Warriors made the conference finals, though there were only three rounds in the playoffs at that time.
“We talked about it, even after winning Game 2, this is going to be a heavyweight championship fight,” Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. “This is a different animal that we’re going against. They have four future Hall of Famers. They’re not going to lie down.”
After trailing for 95 of 106 minutes in the first two games of the series, San Antonio had by far its best start behind its All-Star point guard.
Parker scored 13 points in the first quarter on 6-of-8 shooting, including a desperation bank shot after getting fouled by Green that gave the Spurs a 32-23 lead. The largest lead for San Antonio, which went ahead by 11 points throughout the second quarter, previously was five — all the way back in the second overtime of its Game 1 comeback win.
All-Star forward David Lee sparked Golden State with his first appearance in the series after tearing his right hip flexor in the first-round opener against Denver and originally deemed out for the season. Lee, held scoreless in a brief appearance in the Game 6 clincher over the Nuggets, instantly put back an offensive rebound while getting fouled by Tiago Splitter to start a three-point play that sent fans into a frenzy.
Lee finished with five points and two rebounds in three minutes.
Parker swished a pull-up jumper over Green to put the Spurs up 57-48 at halftime. He had 25 points on 11-for-14 shooting in the first half, while Curry (9 points) and Thompson (3 points) combined for 12 points.
The Warriors erased the deficit a little more than halfway through the third quarter when Curry’s quick 3-pointer evened the score at 65-all. Bogut exited with 6:34 remaining in the period after picking up his fourth foul, and the Spurs surged ahead by 11 behind a quick burst from Manu Ginobili with Golden State’s big man buried on the bench.