The San Antonio Spurs beat the Houston Rockets in extremely impressive fashion on Thursday night (114-75) to advance to the Western Conference Finals.
A critical factor for the Spurs will be the health of MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard, who along with starting point guard Tony Parker missed the last game against the Rockets.
Kawhi Leonard wanted to play on his sore left ankle on Thursday night.
Leonard was not made available to the media.
Some fans thought the San Antonio Spurs and the Golden State Warriors would be the inevitable Western Conference championship matchup anyway. If San Antonio wants to hang with Golden State, it'll need someone to emerge as a pleasant surprise in this series. 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.More news: 'Mamma Mia!' film sequel gets July 2018 release date
"Full is a big word", the Argentine playmaker said. While the Warriors are at their best when they go small and play Draymond Green at centre, San Antonio prefer to utilise their size and do damage in the paint and on the glass. The concussion theory has become a popular internet talking point with Harden zombie walking his way through Game 6.
Leonard started the fourth quarter but was pulled by Popovich with 5:37 remaining in the period when it became obvious Leonard couldn't push off his left foot. The Spurs improved to 16-3 when taking a 3-2 lead in a best-of-seven series.
Sure, it was almost seven months ago when the Spurs came to town and thoroughly spoiled Durant's much-hyped debut - a 129-100 whipping in the season opener - with the Warriors after his scrutinized departure from Oklahoma City.
With both teams shorthanded, the Silver and Black won the second meeting 107-85 on March 11 at the AT&T Center.
Aldridge more than picked up the slack in Leonard's absence.More news: Almost 1 million tune in to watch Derek Jeter's speech
The Spurs were up by 19 by halftime in a game that was over quickly, and didn't let up to reach the Western Conference finals for the first time since winning the title in 2014.
But around newcomer Kevin Durant, things have smoothed for the Warriors since.
If you would like to receive an email each time a new Golden State Warriors basketball article is published, fill out our email notification form. He added 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting; Patty Mills had 14.
James Harden went up for a 3-pointer, changed his mind and tossed the ball between two teammates.More news: Deputy Attorney General Rosenstein Says Trump's Decision to Fire Comey Was 'Appropriate'
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