End of 3rd quarter update: Spurs lead Warriors 90-81.
Kevin Durant doesn’t care who is on the court for San Antonio, he knows that Popovich will have his group ready complete with a few surprises in the playbook.
The San Antonio Spurs will now square off against the Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference finals.
Nothing, perhaps, from the Golden State side.
They swept the Portland Trail Blazers 4-0 in the first round and did the same to the Utah Jazz, featuring Australians Joe Ingles and Dante Exum, in the second round.
Memphis was also a winning team this season, but they did not compare in numbers to the success of the Spurs. Along with having one of the game’s best players in Leonard (he should be fine for the next series), they also have the game’s best coach in Gregg Popovich. San Antonio is still dealing with injuries with point guard Tony Parker on the shelf, as well as the nagging ankle injury to small forward Kawhi Leonard.
LaMarcus Aldridge and the Spurs showed no mercy against James Harden and the Rockets, who crumbled in a 114-75 demolition on Thursday.
Popovich was asked during his interview session what he thought of the job Brown was doing coaching the Warriors in ailing Steve Kerr’s stead. But on the other hand, the Spurs are a veteran ballclub with championship DNA that shouldn’t be dismissed that easily.
The series begins in Oracle Arena on Sunday afternoon, a 12:30 p.m. local tip, on ABC.
The old saying goes, “defense wins championships”, but will that necessarily hold true in this series?
Still, the Warriors are a different beast, and the Spurs need their most risky weapon. In two days the Spurs will be hosted by the Warriors in the first game of the series. With plenty of fresh legs, they relentlessly chased Houston’s shooters and led by as many as 40 points in the fourth quarter.
Something has to give, right? He rested in the mid-March win over Golden State that saw both team’s best players sit out.
The Spurs did just eliminate the No. 2-ranked offense in the league in beating the Rockets, and Popovich slowed down Houston’s attack after allowing 126 points to them in a Game 1 loss.
Harden was a non-factor Thursday after finishing second in scoring during the season at 29.1 points per game.
Patty Mills chipped in 14 points and seven assists for San Antonio while Pau Gasol added 10 points and 11 boards. During the regular season, the Warriors were the fifth-ranked team in 3-point percentage, while San Antonio was the third-ranked team in opponents’ 3-point percentage.