LOS ANGELES (REUTERS) - DeMar DeRozan scored 26 points, and LaMarcus Aldridge added 23 points and 13 rebounds as the San Antonio Spurs, the NBA's hottest team, would not be denied in a 111-105 victory over the visiting Golden State Warriors on Monday (March 18), capturing their ninth win in a row.
The victory was San Antonio's 11th straight at home and guaranteed the Spurs (42-29) their NBA-record 22nd consecutive winning season.
San Antonio led by four points heading into the final quarter and were never behind over the final 12 minutes, building as much as a nine-point advantage on two different occasions and repelling each of the Warriors' attempts to take charge.
Davis Bertans' three-pointer with 1:53 to play allowed San Antonio a 109-102 lead and all but finished off the Warriors (47-22), who fell into a tie with Denver for first place in the Western Conference standings with the loss.
Rudy Gay added 17 points for the Spurs while Derrick White and Patty Mills hit for 12 and 10 points, respectively, for San Antonio.
Stephen Curry led the Warriors with 25 points, and Kevin Durant tallied 24 in his return to the lineup after missing the past two games with a sprained ankle. Klay Thompson added 14 and Draymond Green racked up 10 points for Golden State.
The Spurs led 58-47 at half-time behind 13 points each by Gay and Aldridge, 12 from White and 10 from DeRozan. San Antonio forged a 19-2 run early in the second period and led by as many as 14 in a half that featured eight ties and six lead changes.
Durant and Curry paced the Warriors with 11 points apiece over the first 24 minutes of play.
Golden State forged a 15-5 run late in the third quarter and took a short-lived 78-77 lead on a 3-pointer by Curry with 33.1 seconds to play. The Spurs responded with the final five points of the period to regain the advantage at 82-78 and held on for the win.
Andrew Bogut, who signed with the Warriors on March 6 after winning MVP honours this season in Australia's National Basketball League, started for Golden State though he had not even practised with the team.
Bogut, who played for the Warriors from 2012-16 and was a key member of Golden State's 2014-15 championship squad, was pressed into service after DeMarcus Cousins hurt his right ankle late in the Warriors' win Saturday at Oklahoma City. He had 7 points and 7 rebounds in 19 minutes of play.
Cousins was inactive, as was Andre Iguodala (dental work).