SAN FRANCISCO (AP) Gary Payton II delivered a defensive gem with his high-leaping block against 7-foot-3 Victor Wembanyama as the Golden State guard returned from a foot injury.

The Warriors needed every big play - and only a handful of others have been able to get above Wembanyama so far.

“I'm probably the smallest,” Payton said, chuckling. “It's just energy and effort.”

Stephen Curry scored 35 points and matched his season high with seven 3-pointers while also dishing out six assists, and the Warriors held off Wembanyama and the slumping San Antonio Spurs 118-112 on Friday night in an In-Season Tournament game.

Cedi Osman's 3 with 21 seconds left pulled the Spurs within 112-109 before Curry converted four free throws the rest of the way and Klay Thompson made a pair.

After the game, Curry hosted the Davidson team in the Warriors' practice facility after his college program lost earlier in the day at Saint Mary's.

Dario Saric added 20 points with four 3s and seven rebounds off the bench, while Thompson contributed 15 points and six assists. Golden State won for just the second time in nine games and still hopes to advance out of Group C in the in-season tournament.

The Warriors even discussed point differential during one late timeout - but that chat didn't quite work out, as a 15-point lead with 2 1/2 minutes left turned into a tight finish.

“We're trying to advance,” coach Steve Kerr said.

No. 1 pick Wembanyama had 22 points and eight rebounds but shot 1 for 6 from long range in San Antonio's 11th straight loss. He had five quick points with a 3-pointer as the Spurs jumped ahead 11-4. The rookie drove to the basket with a pretty around-the-waist move, only to have his shot swatted by Payton - more than a full foot shorter and having missed the previous three games - midway through the second quarter.

“It was an exciting moment, the crowd loved it,” Kerr said. “It was a hell of a play.”

Devin Vassell led the Spurs with 24 points, while Keldon Johnson had 22 points and 12 rebounds for San Antonio, which finished 0-4 in tournament group play.

The Warriors have won the last five against the Spurs and seven of nine in the series, but gave up 34 points off their 24 turnovers.

Draymond Green served the final game of his five-game suspension for putting a choke hold on Rudy Gobert and has been working out with the training staff ahead of his return Tuesday at Sacramento, which would have clinched a quarterfinal spot with a Warriors loss Friday.

"Hopefully he'll be ready to play a lot of minutes,” Kerr said.

Golden State unveiled the new Jim Barnett Media Center honoring the team's former player and broadcaster.

“I'm so glad I'm alive to see all of this,” Barnett said.


Spurs: Visit Denver on Sunday.

Warriors: Visit the Kings on Tuesday for the final game of Group C play.



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