Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals saw the second seed San Antonio Spurs take as much as a 25-point first half lead on the top seed Golden State Warriors before the defending Western Conference champions produced an epic comeback to take a 1-0 series lead.
Stephen Curry led the way for the Warriors with 40 points while Kevin Durant added 34. LaMarcus Aldridge led four Spurs players in double figures with 28 while Kawhi Leonard chipped in with 26 before leaving the game with an injury.
First Half Sees Spurs Dominate
After falling behind 4-0 to start the game, San Antonio outscored Golden State 30-12 the rest of the first quarter to take a 14-point lead after 12 minutes. The Warriors were held to 6-of-19 from the field in the opening period while the Spurs were an efficient 10-of-18 from the floor.
Things didn't get any better for Golden State as the second quarter began, San Antonio going on a 14-3 run to take a 44-19 lead. After the teams traded baskets, the top seed went on an 11-0 run to cut the lead to 14, Durant and Curry scoring all 11 points. The Spurs ended the half well and took a 62-42 lead into the locker room.
Warriors Mount Huge Comeback in Second Half to Escape With Win
The 2014-15 NBA champions made minimal progress at the start of the second half and a three-pointer by Jonathan Simmons gave San Antonio a 75-52 lead. Trailing 78-55 after two Leonard free-throws, the Warriors went on a game-changing 18-0 run to trim the lead to 78-73, five different players contributing to the Golden State run.
San Antonio led 90-81 heading into the fourth quarter but were without the services of Leonard. The MVP candidate left the game in the third quarter after re-injuring his left ankle. With their best player on the sidelines, the Warriors continued their charge and a Durant dunk with 7:20 left brought them to within 94-90.
Golden State drew to within one twice, both courtesy of baskets by Shaun Livingston. After Durant gave the Warriors their first lead since the opening moments of the game at 101-100, the teams traded baskets until Draymond Green's three-point play gave the prohibitive NBA title favorites the lead for good at 109-106.
From there, the Warriors held off a final Spurs charge as Curry scored the final four points of the game for Golden State to post the stunning comeback victory and take the opening game of the series. Game 2 is Tuesday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
Game 2 Details
Game 2 of this series will be on Tuesday night at 9 p.m. E.T. at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Spurs' head coach Gregg Popovich broke the news that Leonard will not play in Game 2 and his status for the remainder of the series is unknown.