THE Golden State Warriors overcame a 25-point deficit to beat the San Antonio Spurs, 113-111, in the opener of the Western Conference finals on Sunday in Oakland (Monday, Manila time).
Steph Curry showed the way for the Warriors, who fell behind 21-46 early before Spurs forward Kawhi Leonard injured his ankle in the third.
Leonard aggravated the left ankle injury he sustained in the conference semifinals, crashing after landing on Warriors big man Zaza Pachulia’s foot with under eight minutes left in the third.
The Spurs forward still managed to hit the two free throws off the Pachulia foul but asked to be pulled out and was unable to return to action.
The Spurs took control early with a 30-16 first quarter and looked set for a big win but could not hold on with Leonard out.
Curry had 40 points on 14 of 26 shooting, while Kevin Durant went 11 for 21 and wound up with 34 points.
Pachulia was the only other Golden State player to score in double figures with 11.
A Curry triple tied the game at 106 before Draymond Green scored on a layup and completed the three-point play off a Jonathon Simmons foul to make it 109-106.
Game Two of the best-of-seven series is on Tuesday.
Leonard had 26 points and eight rebounds, while LaMarcus Aldridge scored 28 and also had eight boards.
Manu Ginobili had 17 points off the bench, while Simmons added 12.