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Spurs 99, Warriors 90

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OAKLAND, Calif. — Shooting guard Danny Green hit two 3-pointers during a 9-0 run in the fourth quarter that broke open a tight game as the San Antonio Spurs ran their winning streak to 13 with a 99-90 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Saturday night.

In a game matching the two teams with the most wins since the All-Star break, the Spurs (53-16) improved the NBA’s best record while completing a three-game road sweep of California teams.

Playing without power forward Tim Duncan and backup swingman Manu Ginobili, both given the night off by coach Gregg Popovich, the Spurs led just 76-74 after Warriors reserve center Jermaine O’Neal hit one of two free throws with 10:16 to go.

But Spurs backup Jeff Ayres got inside the Golden State defense for a hoop and, after an exchange of turnovers, Green nailed a 3-pointer to push the San Antonio advantage to seven.

Small forward Kawhi Leonard made it 83-74 with a layup on the Spurs’ next possession. And after backup guard Patty Mills hit a free throw, Green buried a second 3 to cap the decisive run with San Antonio up 13.

The Warriors (44-27), who saw a three-game winning streak snapped, made one last push, closing to 89-82 with 4:11 to go after four consecutive free throws by star guard Stephen Curry.

But Spurs point guard Tony Parker stalled the Golden State run with a layup and Green buried another 3, his fifth of the night, and the Warriors never seriously threatened after that.

Parker led five Spurs in double figures with 20 points, hitting half of his 16 shots from the field. Green had 15 of his 18 on 3-pointers. In all, San Antonio was 10 of 28 from 3-point range, outscoring the Warriors 30-9 from beyond the arc.

Spurs center Tiago Splitter dominated the middle in Duncan’s absence with a 17-point, 14-rebound double-double. Leonard added 16 points and backup guard Marco Belinelli 15.

Curry had 20 points for the Warriors, who hurt themselves with 18 turnovers that the Spurs turned into 27 points.

Shooting guard Klay Thompson added 16 points and power forward David Lee 13 for Golden State.

Wrapping up three-game trip in which they won by 16 against the Los Angeles Lakers and 20 against the Sacramento Kings, the Spurs opened the game as if they had their sights set on a hat trick. They rode a 22-7, game-opening run to a halftime lead, but the margin had shrunk to three at 50-47 by the break.

Parker hit three consecutive shots and the Spurs were 10 of 15 overall in the initial burst. Leonard and Green contributed 3-pointers to the run.

The Warriors got back in the game gradually behind Curry’s 15 first-half points. Golden State might have completely erased the deficit if not for 1-for-7 accuracy from 3-point range in the half.

NOTES: The Warriors began the day 18 games over .500 for the first time since 1994. Spurs coach Gregg Popovich was one of Golden State’s assistant coaches at the time. … The Warriors don’t play again until Friday, a five-day break they hope will allow SF Andre Iguodala to fully recover from the right-knee tendinitis that has sidelined him the past three games. … The Spurs entered the game with a higher winning percentage in games without PF Tim Duncan (4-1, .800) than with him in the lineup (48-15, .762) this season. … The Warriors are the only team with a winning record that the Spurs will face over a 19-day stretch that began with games against the Los Angeles Lakers (two), Utah Jazz and Sacramento Kings, and ends with matchups with the Philadelphia 76ers, Denver Nuggets (two) and New Orleans Pelicans. … Before the game, Warriors coach Mark Jackson complimented the Spurs by comparing them to “old dudes” at the local YMCA, saying, “It’s like if you take five high school All-Americans and drop them off at the Y. The old dudes are going to cook them.” … Jackson said of the Spurs: “If you want to be a very good team, the way to speed up the process is to play against the Spurs as many times as possible. They know how to win, how to compete, how to play.”

Up to the minute news and reports from the news wire of The Sports Xchange.

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