NBA Playoffs: San Antonio Spurs 4-2 Golden State Warriors

Job Well Done: Parker and Duncan fire Spurs to win

Job Well Done: Parker and Duncan fire Spurs to win

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

  1. Tony Parker 22.5 ppg; 6.2 apg; 4.7 rpg
  2. Tim Duncan 19.5 ppg; 10.3 rpg
  3. Steph Curry 22.5 ppg; 6.8 apg; 19 3PM
  4. Kawhi Leonard 14.7 ppg; 9.2 rpg; 56% FG
  5. Harrison Barnes 17.3 ppg; 7.3 rpg
Advertisements

Game Night! ft. Toronto @ Golden State

WARRIORS LATE SURGE HELPS THEM PAST THE RAPTORS & MIAMI SET FRANCHISE WIN STREAK RECORD

An incredible final quarter effort took the Golden State Warriors (34-27) to a 125-118 win against the Toronto Raptors (23-38) to further dent their opponent’s play-off hopes. David Lee (29pts/11rbs/5as), Stephen Curry (26pts/12as) and Klay Thompson (22pts) combined for 77 POINTS as the Warriors look to cement their play-off position. The home side had opened up a double digit lead during the first half but a third quarter blip allowed Toronto back in and the visitors outscored their opponents 36-21 to take a 90-83 advantage into the final quarter. Thompson contributed eight points in a 10-2 start to the fourth as the Warriors regained the lead. The Raptors tied the game on three occasions but a 9-0 spell from the home side proved decisive and Golden State maintained their advantage to record a 125-118 victory after a 42-28 quarter.

STAT: It was the 40th time this season that All-Star David Lee posted double figures in points and rebounds in a game.

Miami Heat (44-14) set a new franchise record after claiming their 15th straight win after defeating the Minnesota Timberwolves (20-37) 97-81 on the road. Dwyane Wade top scored with 32 points whilst providing 10 assists with LeBron James adding a 20p-10r double-double. Ricky Rubio was at the heart of several plays for the hosts, finishing with 14pts/8as/6st while Derrick Williams had 25 points and 10 rebounds in their sixth consecutive loss. Despite losing Carmelo Anthony to injury before half-time, the NY Knicks (36-21) battled back from a TWENTY-TWO point deficit to beat the Cleveland Cavaliers (20-40) 102-97. Amar’e Stoudemire matched his season high with 22 points while the game-high honours went to Marreese Speights with 23 having had 21 points at the half on 10-10 FG shooting.

STAT: It was the first time this season that Wade dished out 10 assists in a game.

Orlando Magic (17-44) picked up a 105-102 win in New Orleans (21-40) despite a 17p-15r double-double from Anthony Davis while the Portland Trail Blazers (28-31) powered their way to a 122-105 victory against the Charlotte Bobcats (13-47) in search for the play-offs. Denver (39-22) took their win streak to five games after easing past Atlanta (33-26) 122-104 while Milwaukee (30-28) needed overtime to beat the Utah Jazz (32-28) 109-108 with Monta Ellis scoring 34 points and Larry Sanders collecting 16 boards and six swats during the win.

Check-out Monta Ellis going ‘360’ to the hoop: (NBA)

Game Night! ft. Oklahoma @ Denver

OKC CRASH IN DENVER THRILLER; MIAMI MAKE IT 13 STRAIGHT NEW YORK, INDIANA, SAN ANTONIO & THE CLIPPERS ALL PICK UP WINS

Ty Lawson nailed the game-winner with 0.2 seconds left to give the Denver Nuggets (38-22) a deserved 105-103 win at home to the Oklahoma City Thunder (42-16). Wilson Chandler came off the bench to match his career-high points tally of 35 after making 6-7 from 3PT range but the game-high honour went to Russell Westbrook, who netted 12/17 free throws (the same amount Denver made as a team) on his way to 38 points.

The visitors made the better start but Denver closed the opening quarter with the last five points to only trail by 3 at 29-26. The Nuggets then took the lead with an 11-0 start to the second and although the lead had risen to as many as twelve during the quarter, they still enjoyed a commanding 56-47 advantage at half-time. Denver narrowly edged the third to take a 85-75 lead into the final quarter where OKC started their fightback. A 16-4 spell hauled the Thunder back as they tied the game at 91 to set up a tense finale. The visitors went up by 3 but they were tied again with under a minute left. Kevin Durant answered Chandlers’ lay-up to level at 103 before Lawson stepped up and drained the winner before the buzzer.

Miami Heat (42-14) took their win streak to THIRTEEN games after denying Memphis (38-19) a NINTH straight victory with a 98-91 success. LeBron James had a slow start before finishing with 18 points, eight rebounds and 10 assists while Dwyane Wade led the way with 22 points for the hosts. After snapping a four game losing streak, the NY Knicks (35-20) have now won their last three after beating the Washington Wizards (18-39) 96-88 on the road. Carmelo Anthony had a game-high 30 points for the visitors while the hosts were led by Bradley Beal’s career-high effort of 29 points. Indiana (37-22) remain in third despite having recorded more wins but they kept up the pressure with a 93-81 win in Toronto (23-36) to tie the season series with the Raptors at 2-2.

STAT: LeBron James has reached double figures in scoring for 475 consecutive games.

San Antonio Spurs (46-14) powered their way past the Sacramento Kings (20-40) with a 130-102 blow-out. The home side had no fewer than EIGHT players in double-figures with DeJuan Blair leading the way with 16 although the win was marred by the ankle injury sustained by Tony Parker. The LA Clippers (43-18) moved past OKC in the win column with a fourth straight victory, beating the Cavaliers (20-39) 105-89 in Cleveland. Jamal Crawford led the rout with 24 points while Blake Griffin (16pts/11rbs) and Chris Paul (11pts/15as) added double-doubles.

STAT: Manu Ginobilli dished out a career-high 15 assists for the Spurs including a through-the-legs dime to Blair.

Boston Celtics (31-27) recorded a 94-86 win over the Golden State Warriors (33-26) after restricitng Stephen Curry to just 25 points. The home side raced out of the blocks and were carried to victory by a 26 point haul from Paul Pierce to help Boston close on Chicago (33-25) in the race for the play-offs. Houston (32-28)needed a strong fourth quarter performance to overcome the Orlando Magic (16-43) 118-110 with James Harden contributing 24pts/7rbs/8as to inspire the Rockets‘ victory.

STAT: Steph Curry has now scored 107 points in his last three games with 21 made 3-pointers.

“I think he’s the best shooter in the league.” Boston head-coach Doc Rivers on Steph Curry.

Utah Jazz (32-27) eased to an emphatic 98-68 triumph against the Charlotte Bobcats (13-45) after a career-high night from Enes Kanter (23pts/22rbs) Phoenix Suns (21-39) were led by Goran Dragic’s 19 points on their way to a 92-87 home win against the Atlanta Hawks (33-24) while New Orleans Hornets (21-39) also enjoyed a home win after beating Detroit (23-38) 100-95. Dallas Mavericks (26-32) picked up an impressive 98-90 road win in Brooklyn (34-25) despite a 24 point performance from Deron Williams.

CHECK-OUT KD‘s incredible reverse lay-up against Denver (NBA):