Warriors finish off Spurs behind Curry's 36
SAN ANTONIO -- Stephen Curry scored 36 points and Kevin Durant added 29 points and 12 rebounds as the Golden State Warriors strolled to a 129-115 win over the short-handed but game San Antonio Spurs on Monday at the AT&T Center, finishing off a four-game sweep of the best-of-seven Western Conference finals.
Golden State moves on to play either the Cleveland Cavaliers or the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. The Warriors will have nine days to rest for that series, which begins in Oakland, Calif., on June 1.
The Warriors have swept all three of their playoff series and are the first team in NBA history to start the postseason 12-0, eclipsing the record established by the 1989 and 2001 Los Angeles Lakers. Golden State has won 27 of its past 28 overall games (including the regular season) and has won six straight road playoff games, a franchise record.
The Spurs announced about 90 minutes before tipoff that both injured star forward Kawhi Leonard (left ankle) and reserve forward David Lee (left knee) would miss the game, likely dooming any chance San Antonio had to extend the series.
But even with a full complement of players, the Spurs -- or any opponent for that matter -- would have been hard pressed to beat Golden State the way the Warriors are playing.
Draymond Green added 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for Golden State. Ian Clark tallied 12 points and Klay Thompson scored 10 points (on 3-of-13 shooting) for the Warriors. Golden State outshot the Spurs 55.8 percent to 42.3 percent, had 53 rebounds to San Antonio's 41 and dominated despite 17 turnovers that led to 22 San Antonio points.
Kyle Anderson led the Spurs with 20 points while Manu Ginobili added 15, Patty Mills and Pau Gasol hit for 14 each and Jonathon Simmons scored 13. LaMarcus Aldridge, arguably San Antonio's most important player after Leonard, scored just eight points and did not play in the fourth quarter.
The Warriors shot 50 percent in the first quarter against San Antonio's makeshift lineup, built as much as a 14-point advantage and led 31-19 after 12 minutes as Curry pumped in 13 points despite shooting just 1 of 6 from 3-point range. The Spurs hit just 9 of 31 shots in the first quarter and wasted the momentum and boost from the crowd that was provided by the ageless Ginobili's first start in a playoff game since 2013.
Golden State was even better from the floor in the second quarter, hitting 14 of its 19 shots and leading by as many as 19 points before settling for a 65-51 advantage at halftime. Durant and Curry each had 18 points in the half to lead the Warriors, while Anderson led San Antonio with 10 points.
The Warriors worked to finish off San Antonio in the early stages of the third quarter, moving to a 78-56 lead on two Green free throws at the 8:25 mark. But the Spurs would not quit, forging a 19-7 run to cut the lead back to 85-75 on a jumper by Bryn Forbes with 2:49 to play in the period. Golden State responded with an 11-3 surge of its own to end the period and took a 96-78 cushion into the final period.
The fourth quarter was mostly mop-up time for the Warriors, who never let San Antoinio get within 13 points while closing out the victory.
NOTES: Golden State has won at least one road game in each of its last 14 playoff series dating back to the first round in 2013, extending a franchise record. Gs Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson and F Draymond Green and have played with the Warriors for all 14 of those postseason series. ... Since the Spurs joined the NBA in 1976, they have made 10 conference finals appearances, which ranks as the most in the league in that timeframe. San Antonio is also tied with the Los Angeles Lakers for the most NBA championships during that span (five). ... Spurs G Manu Ginobili the only player in NBA history besides LeBron James to record at least 800 rebounds, 800 assists and 300 three-pointers in the postseason. ... The Spurs are now 0-3 under coach Gregg Popovich is series in which they lost the first three games.