NBA GAME RECAP

Warriors rally to win opener after Spurs lose Leonard

Sports Xchange

May 14, 2017 at 6:43 pm.

May 14, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) high fives guard Shaun Livingston (34), forward Draymond Green (23) and forward Kevin Durant (35) after a basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the fourth quarter in game one of the Western conference finals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

May 14, 2017; Oakland, CA, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry (30) high fives guard Shaun Livingston (34), forward Draymond Green (23) and forward Kevin Durant (35) after a basket against the San Antonio Spurs during the fourth quarter in game one of the Western conference finals of the 2017 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. Photo Credit: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports

OAKLAND, Calif. — Draymond Green turned a layup into a three-point play with 1:15 to go to break a tie and lift the Golden State Warriors to a 113-111 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals Sunday.

The Spurs lost star forward Kawhi Leonard to a recurrence of his left ankle injury in the third quarter after having built a 25-point lead in the first half.

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Tuesday, also on the Warriors’ home court.

Rallying from a 20-point halftime deficit, the third-biggest comeback in NBA history, the Warriors got a game-high 40 points from Stephen Curry and 34 from Kevin Durant.

Curry hit a 13-foot floater with nine seconds remaining to give Golden State a 113-110 lead and begin a hectic finish.

LeMarcus Aldridge, the Spurs’ leading scorer with 28 points, had a chance to tie the score but misfired on a 3-pointer from the left corner.

Patty Mills retrieved the ball and was fouled with five-tenths of a second left. He made the first free throw to get the Spurs within two, then intentionally missed the second, with the Warriors deflecting the ball out of bounds as time expired.

Curry scored 21 of his points on 7-of-16 shooting on 3-pointers. The Warriors were 11 of 30 from beyond the arc and outscored the Spurs 33-21 on 3-pointers.

Leonard finished with 26 points and Manu Ginobili 17 for the Spurs.

The game turned on Leonard’s injury. He had poured in 18 points and Aldridge 17 in a stunning first-half offensive display by the Spurs, who led by 25 at one point en route to a 62-42 halftime advantage.

Leonard, who missed the end of Game 5 of the Western Conference semifinals on Tuesday and all of Game 6 against the Houston Rockets on Thursday, tweaked the ankle when he stepped back into the Spurs’ bench while attempting a 3-pointer early in the third quarter.

Then after a brief stint on the bench, he returned and landed on Warriors center Zaza Pachulia’s foot on a jumper, which sent Leonard limping to the bench for good.

The Spurs were leading 78-55 when Leonard left the game with 7:52 remaining in the third quarter. The Warriors immediately responded with an 18-0 run to get back into the game.

Golden State still trailed 96-90 before Durant nailed a 3-pointer with 6:09 to go to trigger an 11-4 run that produced a 101-100 Warriors lead, their first since the fifth minute of the game.

NOTES: The Spurs also had at least a 20-point lead in all three regular-season meetings against the Warriors. They won two of those three games. … Warriors coach Steve Kerr attended the game but remained in the Golden State locker room during the action. He addressed the team both before the game and at halftime. … The Spurs entered the series having won Game 1 of a playoff series as a visitor four times in the Gregg Popovich era. They went on to win three of those four series. … Popovich took time before the game to vent some frustration on the current state of the nation. “I feel like there is a cloud or pall over the whole country in a paranoid, surreal sort of way,” he claimed. “It has nothing to do with the Democrats losing the election. It’s got to do with the way one individual conducts himself, and it’s embarrassing.”