You couldn't truthfully claim that the Warriors played a full 48 on Monday -- not when they fell behind the San Antonio Spurs by double digits with the game barely seven minutes old -- but they had more than half an hour of near-greatness in them, and then Davis was there to carry them over the finish line.
Davis scored 34 points and doled out 14 assists -- accounting one way or another for an astonishing 28 points in the final 10 minutes of play -- as the Warriors derailed the NBA's defending champions for the second time in less than a month, 130-121 in overtime.
Stephen Jackson scored 29 points -- 12 in the extra period -- and was a crucial 9-for-9 from the free throw line. Kelenna Azubuike and Mickael Pietrus combined for 29 points and 12 boards off the bench. And Andris Biedrins helped hold Spurs center Tim Duncan -- who did finish with a team-high 32 points -- to a 9-for-19 shooting night.
Stripped to essentially seven players, the Warriors (20-15) spiked their first losing streak since dropping six straight games out of the gate, and removed the asterisk that was attached to their 96-84 home victory over San Antonio on Dec. 11.
The Spurs were without Duncan in December, but Monday, even at full strength, they still couldn't overturn the previous outcome. With only one game remaining against San Antonio (23-10) this season, the Warriors are guaranteed their first season-series victory over the Spurs since 1996-97.
"In order for us to get back to where we were (last season), and be the team that we're capable of being, we've got to play like that night in and night out," Davis said.
Davis did his part in recapturing the magic. Rebounding from a poor finish against the Hornets, Davis relentlessly hunted the Spurs down the stretch. Starting from a 92-90 deficit with five minutes remaining, he drained two 3-point shots, bulled his way through Bruce Bowen for another pair of three-point plays, and dished off to Pietrus and Jackson for treys.
That 3-pointer by Jackson gave the Warriors a 105-99 lead with 2:49 left, and Golden State matched that bulge with a 110-104 lead after Davis' 3-pointer at the 57.5-second mark, but couldn't close it out in regulation.
A three-point play and layup from Duncan cut the Warriors' lead to 110-109, and after a pair of free throws from Jackson, Tony Parker (31 points) was left open in the corner to drain a tying 3-pointer. Pietrus' last-ditch potential game-winner bounced off the rim.
San Antonio took a 119-117 lead on a trey by Parker with 2:14 left in OT, but the Warriors' rise could not be halted. A pair of free throws by Jackson was followed by a Duncan miss (forced by Biedrins) and a Jackson trey set up by Davis, putting Golden State ahead 122-119 at the 1:34 mark.
Parker missed a jumper, leading to coast-to-coast charge from Davis and a fast-break dunk for Azubuike to make it 124-119 Warriors. After Michael Finley clanged a triple, Davis nailed a step-back 18-footer to put things away at 126-119 with 43.4 seconds to go.
"He was going crazy," Biedrins said. "It was awesome to watch him. He was making plays, he was passing the ball, that's why he's an All-Star and our team captain. In overtime, he was the best."
Coming into the game, Nelson said the Warriors "have no answer for Duncan," but they may have found one in Biedrins, who was essentially left on an island against the two-time league MVP by a game plan that called for late double-teaming help, if any. Impressively, Biedrins lasted nearly 10 minutes with five fouls and did not foul out of the game.
Contact Geoff Lepper at firstname.lastname@example.org.
WARRIORS 130, SPURS 121