Johnson scores off missed FT, Spurs beat Curry-less Warriors
By JOE STIGLICH
SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Keldon Johnson scored off a rebound of a missed free throw with three-tenths of a second left to give the San Antonio Spurs a 110-108 victory over the Golden State Warriors on Sunday night.
Jakob Poeltl made the first of two free throws to it at 108 with 2.4 seconds left. He missed the second off the back iron, but Johnson grabbed the rebound and converted the winner.
"I crashed in and I think somebody tipped it, and I just grabbed it and turned around and put it up," Johnson said. "I was like, `I just want to get it off in time.'"
Klay Thompson missed a 3-pointer from the right corner as time expired.
Josh Richardson led the Spurs with 25 points, and Dejounte Murray had 19.
Jordan Poole scored 28 points for Golden State, and Thompson had 24. Playing for the first time since losing Stephen Curry to a left foot injury, the third-place Warriors dropped 1 1/2 games behind second-place Memphis and 10 1/2 games back of NBA-leading Phoenix.
The Warriors held San Antonio to 38.8% shooting overall, but they committed 15 turnovers that San Antonio converted into 22 points.
Golden State appeared in good shape when Andrew Wiggins was fouled with three seconds left and the game tied at 107. He made his first free throw, but missed the second. Kevon Looney was called for a loose-ball foul on Poeltl, setting up the closing sequence.
"We played hard through the whole game, but in the NBA you've got to be ready from tipoff," Warriors forward Nemanja Bjelica said. ". Without Steph, we've got to play smarter. Everyone wants to win on this team, but sometimes we need to just slow down and do some smarter things on the court."
Draymond Green was in the Warriors' starting lineup for the first time since returning from a calf injury last week, but he was ejected in the third quarter after getting called for two technicals in an eight-second span.
San Antonio led 36-22 at the end of the first period on the strength of 59.1% shooting. But Poole and Thompson combined for 15 points in the second quarter and the Warriors cut it to 63-57 at halftime.
ADJUSTING THE FOCUS
The Warriors hope to get Curry back healthy by the playoffs. Coach Steve Kerr said before the game he'll make minimal adjustments offensively without his star point guard. Instead, he emphasized the other end of the floor.
"These last 12 games, that's the challenge. Can we be one of the best defensive teams in the league again?" Kerr said. "There's no reason why we can't. . If we can defend at a high level, we think that will translate to good offense."
Spurs: Devin Vassell raced downcourt and hit a 3-pointer to beat the halftime buzzer. . Lonnie Walker IV remained out with back spasms. The guard left Friday night in a loss to New Orleans in the first quarter.
Warriors: Golden State got Wiggins and Bjelica back. Moses Moody (right shoulder) remained out for the Warriors. . Green returned to the starting lineup after coming off the bench in his first two games back from a calf injury . Otto Porter Jr. had a career-high 16 rebounds, including eight on the offensive end.
BIG OFF THE BENCH
Richardson was not in the starting lineup but delivered a team-high 25 points, just two off his season high.
"Tonight was his night," Johnson said. "We just kept looking for him and looking for him."
Spurs: At Portland on Wednesday night.
Warriors: At Orlando on Tuesday night to start a five-game trip.
Updated March 21, 2022