Kevin Durant scored 26 points as the Golden State Warriors beat San Antonio 110-97 to take a 3-0 lead over the Spurs, who were playing with heavy hearts after the death of Gregg Popovich’s wife.
Head coach Popovich did not attend Thursday’s game, which took place just a day after the passing of his wife Erin Popovich, who died from a long-term illness. The couple had been married for four decades and had two children and two grandchildren.
San Antonio assistant coach Ettore Messina coached the team in Popovich’s absence.
“Everybody did a really great job as players, as people working in the organisation and as staff in trying to support each other and face this moment the way it should be faced as friends,” Messina said.
LaMarcus Aldridge led the Spurs with 18 points, while 35-year-old Tony Parker delivered 16 points in a throw-back performance.
Parker said this is an emotional time for the players and the coaching staff.
“It was very tough sad day, and tough to play basketball tonight,” Parker said.
Durant showed his versatility by adding nine rebounds and six assists for the Warriors, who can close out the first round Western Conference series with a victory on Sunday in San Antonio.
Asked if he would be coaching on Sunday Messina said: “We don’t know, we will talk, we will see.”