SAN ANTONIO — Stephen Curry called on his teammates to “embrace the challenge” that the road presented them after an up-and-down first half of the season.
Friday provided the Warriors their loudest challenge yet.
Playing in front of tens of thousands of spectators in the Alamodome, the Warriors silenced the electric record-setting crowd as they cruised past the struggling San Antonio Spurs 144-113 in what was their most balanced and dominant performance of the season.
Eight Warriors players finished in double-digit scoring. The two Warriors who battled it out in this stadium during the 2018 NCAA championship led Golden State in scoring Friday. Jordan Poole led the team with 25 points and Donte DiVincenzo added 22, just one point shy of his career high. Meanwhile, Kevon Looney recorded another double-double with 14 points and 10 rebounds.
Spurs legend David Robinson took center court before the fourth quarter to announce that history had been officially made Friday night. A total of 68,323 tickets had been distributed for the game hosted in the Spurs’ old stomping grounds in honor of the franchise’s 50th season. It set a single-game attendance record for the NBA, eclipsing the previous record of 62,046 that witnessed the Michael Jordan-led Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks go head-to-head in the Georgia Dome in 1998.
The view varied based on where you were seated. From the rafters, the players looked like ants running all around the court for cookie crumbs. But from the lower levels and courtside, the Warriors looked like bullies teaching the young Spurs a lesson. Golden State moved the ball well, recording assists on 33 of their 55 field goals. The Warriors scored with ease and never let their foot off the gas. They recorded 41 points in the second, 40 in the third and led by 25 heading into the fourth.
Roars from the crowd echoed through the dome throughout the game. The boos morphed into woos when Stephen Curry knocked down his free throws.
DiVincenzo added a spark off the bench and helped the Warriors’ reserves score their most combined points of the season (77). DiVincenzo made four 3s to go with his seven rebounds, five assists and two steals.
This is exactly the type of win the Warriors needed to open their five-game road trip as they try to change the narrative around their performances away from Chase Center. Golden State is now 4-16 on the road and 21-21 on the season, with four more games to go before they head back to the Bay.
There are plenty of challenges that lie ahead for Golden State. Two of its next four opponents have winning records, and the Bulls, whom the Warriors play next, have routinely stepped up for big games against some of the league’s best teams.
Golden State will play the Bulls and Washington Wizards on back-to-back matinees Sunday and Monday. The team will celebrate their 2022 title one last time with a visit to the White House to meet President Joe Biden.
The Warriors will then return to the parquet floor at TD Garden where they won their title this summer before ending the trip in Cleveland next Friday.