They started the game with a rash of egregious turnovers, finishing the first quarter with 7 and the first half with 10.
It was a rough shooting night for the Warriors, who had a field goal percentage of 37.8% making only 34 out of 90 shot attempts. They got to within 2 points of the Spurs about halfway through the quarter.
It was an impressive win for the Spurs, especially considering how hard the week has been for the team. Though its streak of seasons with 50 wins came to an end at 18, San Antonio extended the best active professional sports string of postseason appearances to 21.
The third quarter featured an nearly phantom technical foul against David West, who ran to the tunnel to ride a bike while not playing. And that's really been the difference: the Warriors have three stars while the Spurs only have LaMarcus Aldridge. But they rebounded in the fourth quarter, outscoring the defending champions by seven points to secure their first win of the series.
James added 13 rebounds and seven assists in his 100th career playoff game with 30 or more points.
The Warriors have brushed past San Antonio in the opening three games of their first-round match-up and can book their place in the Western Conference semi-finals tonight.
The Spurs were finally able hit open shots and that proved to be one of the biggest differences.More news: Asus ZenFone Max Pro M1 with Snapdragon 636 & 5000mAh Battery Launched
Milwaukee completed a four-game sweep of Miami and has won six straight overall, its longest winning streak since 2015.
The Spurs never trailed, leading by as many as 10 in the first quarter and 17 in the second while earning their first win in a series after falling behind 3-0 during the Gregg Popovich era in San Antonio. No matter - their season wasn't ending in front of their fans. Parker said this is an emotional time for the players and the coaching staff.
Draymond Green was especially active, taking advantage of the Spurs frontline to grab eight offensive rebounds and 10 defensive boards.
The Spurs also needed either Kevin Durant or Klay Thompson to cool off. He's good enough to carry the Warriors for the rest of this series, but the Warriors are better when the ball is moving and everyone is involved.
Aldridge banked in a three-pointer with 4:22 remaining to stop the Warriors' run and Ginobili took over with a pair of 3-pointers in the final minutes.
Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry is set to return from injury in the National Basketball Association playoffs.