Spurs 128, Warriors 120
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) _ Willie Anderson matched his career high with 36 points and David Robinson scored 27 as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Golden State Warriors 128-120 Friday night.
The Spurs stopped the Warriors’ win streak at five in the first meeting between the teams since Golden State upset the Spurs in the opening round of the NBA playoffs last year.
The victory against the Pacific Division-leading Warriors returned an immediate dividend on Spurs owner Red McCombs’ decision to give in to player demands for chartered flights on road trips.
The Spurs, in a money-saving move, had been using commercial flights, but players complained about longer hours, cramped conditions and frequent delays. McCombs initially resisted the idea but finally agreed to lease a plane for the team’s remaining 24 road games, with the trip to Oakland to play the Warriors being the first.
Golden State, coming off a five-day break, its longest of the season, was led by Sarunas Marciulionis and Tim Hardaway with 29 points each and Chris Mullin with 25.
The Warriors trailed 99-93 after Marciulionis’ three-point play with eight seconds remaining in the third quarter.
But the Spurs responded with a 9-0 run, capped by a three-point play by Robinson that made it 108-93 lead. The Warriors got no closer than eight the rest of the way.
Anderson scored 25 points in the first half as the Spurs took a 62-51 lead. He hit 12 of 14 shots from the field and made his lone free throw attempt to nearly double his 13.6 average by halftime.
At one point in the first quarter, Anderson scored 10 straight points for the Spurs.
The score was tied 45-45 with 5:11 remaining in the second period when Terry Cummings hit a layup for the Spurs. The play ignited a 17-6 run by the Spurs.
″I’m pleased with the win because they kept coming at us and we were equal to it,″ San Antonio coach Larry Brown said. ″David was phenomenal and Anderson was so good.″
Anderson converted 16 of 18 shots from the field and hit four of seven free throws. He and Robinson also had 11 rebounds each.
″They were awfully good,″ Golden State coach Don Nelson said. ″To have a guy make shots like Willie Anderson, I mean he just didn’t miss. You know Robinson is going to dominate on the defensive end always. We held him down in the first half ... In the second half, he did his damage and you knew we were in trouble.
″They beat us inside, outside; they beat us everywhere that you can beat us. They just dominated us.″
Three of Anderson’s top four career scoring efforts have come against the Warriors. He scored 36 points in two other regular-season games, including Jan. 7, 1989 against Golden State.
He also scored a playoff career-high of 38 points in the Spurs’ 130-121 victory over the Warriors in Game 1 of the Western Conference playoff series, although Golden State then took the next three to oust San Antonio.
″It was a big incentive to win here,″ Anderson said. ″They have a lot of confidence when they play us and we wanted to prove to them that we are a better team and we do play with a lot of pride.″
Rod Strickland, who scored 18 points for San Antonio, agreed the Spurs felt like they had something to prove.
″Deep down we wanted to beat them, maybe for last year, but we just wanted to win and continue playing well,″ he said.