In a series that every neutral wanted to go the distance, San Antonio came through in 6 to advance to the Conference Finals yet again. The Spurs swept the Lakers in the first round while Golden State upset 3rd seeds Denver 4-2 with Steph Curry lighting up the series to set up an exciting duel between the two.
GAME 1: Golden State 127-129 San Antonio (2OT) @ AT&T Centre
A thrilling start to the series saw Manu Ginobili sink a game-winning three in the dying seconds of the second period of overtime. The Warriors led by as many as 18 before being pegged back and falling short despite the heroics of a 44 point haul from Curry. It was the visitors who edged a fast-paced first half 53-49 before they broke clear in the third following another dynamic 3rd quarter display from the ‘Human Torch’. Curry netted an incredible 22 points including four 3-pointers as Golden State opened up a 90-82 advantage. Despite letting up 39 points, the hosts still scored 31 of their own to remain within reach as Danny Green connected with a trio of triples during the third. The 25 year old’s precision from downtown proved vital in the fourth as Green sent the game into overtime with 20 seconds left as the Spurs fought back from a 98-82 deficit with 9:00 left on the clock. The teams could not be separated in the first and it looked as if GSW were going to steal a win on the road with a 6-0 run in the final minute of the second period beyond regulation until Ginobili‘s killer three saved the hosts. Tony Parker led the Spurs with 28 points, 8 rebounds and 8 assists while Tim Duncan (19p/11r) and Ginobili (16p/11a) added double-doubles and Green netted 6-9 from beyond the arc on his way to 22 points.
San Antonio lead the best-of-7-series 1-0.
GAME 2: Golden State 100-91 San Antonio @ AT&T Centre
Golden State tied the series with a dominant second quarter while Klay Thompson had a career-high night with 34 points and 14 rebounds to hand the Warriors home court advantage. Curry set the tone early on with two triples opening the scoring for the visitors but it was to be the other member of the ‘Splash Brothers’ duo who carried on the damage with a devastating first half dispaly. Thompson netted FIVE 3-pointers in a 17 point second quarter to take his tally to 29 at the half, where GSW led 62-43. San Antonio did their best to reduce the deficit and closed to within seven after consecutive three’s from Green and Gary Neal but Thompson struck his 8th trey at the end of the third to make it 83-72. The Spurs trailed by six at 95-89 but were unable to produce another comeback as Curry scored the next five points as the hosts were held to just 2 points in the final 4 minutes. Curry added 22 points to Thompson‘s impressive haul while Duncan and Parker combined for 43 points for San Antonio, who were restricted to below 40% from the field as the series was levelled at 1-1.
Series tied at 1-1.
GAME 3: San Antonio 102-92 Golden State @ Oracle Arena
Tony Parker led the Spurs to a win on the road as they bounced back from a loss at home in Game 2 while the Warriors were left concerned about Curry‘s ankle injury. TP9 exploded for 25 points in the opening half before finishing with a game-high 32 while Duncan added a 23-10 double-double. San Antonio were down 19-14 midway through the first before producing an 18-4 close to lead 32-23. Golden State enjoyed a better second quarter until the final minute when a 6-0 close to the half saw the Spurs maintain their nine point advantage at 57-48. The Warriors tied the game at 65 on a Curry three but then went scoreless for the next five minutes as the visitors opened up a double-digit lead and when Kawhi Leonard netted a three to the end the third, they led 79-69. Once again a GSW run was followed by an immediate response from the Spurs as Green and Parker netted triples to spark an 11-1 burst after a 9-0 start to the 4th from the Warriors. The home side closed to within five points but it was too little, too late as San Antonio held on to claim victory.
San Antonio lead the best-of-7-series 2-1.
GAME 4: San Antonio 87-97 Golden State (OT) @ Oracle Arena
Golden State levelled the series at 2-2 after an overtime victory as the Spurs capitulated during the extra period. Harrison Barnes produced a career-high 26 points while Jarett Jack had 24 off the bench and Andrew Bogut managed to grab 18 rebounds despite getting himself into foul trouble early on. Curry netted two triples early on but Ginobili took over the quarter with 11 late points including three 3-pointers to give the visitors a 26-19 advantage. A fourth followed in the second and San Antonio were soon ahead by 10 which became 8 at the half. Curry scored twice more from beyond the arc in a pivotal 18-4 run for the home side as they took the lead at 55-51. Parker would hand the Spurs back the initiative by the end of the third as his basket made it 62-60 to the visitors. GSW compiled a 10-2 run through Jack and Thompson to tie the game at 82 in the final minute. Both teams made baskets before missing the chance to take the game as they headed into overtime. San Antonio would miss their first seven shots from the field and the Warriors capitalised with nine points during their opponents’ baron spell. Green finally struck from 3-point range but the game was up and the series was heading back to Texas all-square.
Series tied at 2-2.
GAME 5: Golden State 91-109 San Antonio @ AT&T Centre
San Antonio took care of home court in style to put the pressure back on Golden State after taking a 3-2 series lead. Parker led the way for the Spurs with his first double-double of the series with 25 points and 10 assists with Duncan (14-10) adding one of his own, Leonard making 7-8 from the field for 17 points while the ‘Splash Brothers’ were less effective with a combined 13 points on 6-22 shooting for the visiting Warriors. The hosts made a strong start and Duncan had 10 first quarter points as the Spurs opened up a 37-28 advantage and they never looked back. Golden State threatened to take the lead when Curry made it a one point game but they were kept at bay by an efficient San Antonio offence, which built a 54-51 advantage at the interval. The third was more comfortable for the hosts who used a 7-0 run to break clear and by the end of the third, they led 83-72. There was to be no comebacks in this game as San Antonio saw the game out with ease as Gregg Popovich was able to rest his starters and Australian Patty Mills netted a late three off the bench to complete a satisfying performance for the home side.
San Antonio lead the best-of-7-series 3-2.
GAME 6 San Antonio 94-82 Golden State @ Oracle Arena
San Antonio closed out the series on the road to progress to the Western Conference Finals, where they will take on the Memphis Grizzlies. Curry‘s game-high 22 points were in vain for the Warriors as the Spurs had all five starters in double figures, led by Duncan‘s 19 points. The visitors edged a tight first quarter 21-19 before taking a 47-40 lead into the locker rooms courtesy of a 10-0 run at the start of the second. San Antonio remained in control throughout the third before a late rally from GSW as they took inspiration from the crowd to again trail by seven, heading into the fourth. Thompson made it a three point game but Green soon pushed the lead back up to seven with a 3-pointer of his own. The home side cut the gap to just a single basket as they hoped to extend the series but Leonard and Parker nailed dagger three’s before the French international sealed the win at the foul line, scoring 10 of his 13 points in the final quarter.
San Antonio win the best-of-7-series 4-2.
Top 5 players
Tony Parker 22.5 ppg; 6.2 apg; 4.7 rpg
Tim Duncan 19.5 ppg; 10.3 rpg
Steph Curry 22.5 ppg; 6.8 apg; 19 3PM
Kawhi Leonard 14.7 ppg; 9.2 rpg; 56% FG
Harrison Barnes 17.3 ppg; 7.3 rpg