Kawhi will return for Game 1 of Western Conference Finals


Memphis would not be the only team to be blown out by the Spurs, the Houston Rockets were also.

What happens when the top National Basketball Association offense meets the top defense? Jonathon Simmons filled in for Leonard on Thursday and scored 18 points in the rout of the Rockets. "This was a good series and we're moving on, but we're not satisfied".

On a night when Kawhi Leonard was forced to sit out with a sore left ankle, LaMarcus Aldridge led a balanced Spurs offensive effort, as the visitors embarrassed the Rockets 114-75 in Game 6 to win the series 4-2. "There's only one Kawhi Leonard, and I don't expect him to be 100 percent. Very tough to go against them in any series, but I think a little bit different against the Golden State Warriors right now".

More news: Could the Comey memo bring down the presidency?
More news: Microsoft slams spy agencies for hoarding hacking tools used in cyber attacks
More news: Olynyk sparks Celtics past Wizards, into conference finals

"He's really turned it on", coach Gregg Popovich said. A Game 6 finale in which they lost by 39 points ... at home ... with Leonard sidelined ... and Tony Parker out ... and Harden coughing up three times as many turnovers as he had made shots?Stop it. And while he wasn't exclusively the reason the Rockets lost, Harden was definitely a main cause Houston's season ending as he simply had one of his worst games of the season. In two days the Spurs will be hosted by the Warriors in the first game of the series. Though this series could have been very interesting a year ago, Kevin Durant brings so much to the table in this series on both ends of the floor that it is hard to go against the Warriors in this one. He started the postseason with 19 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists, five blocks and three steals against the Blazers, and is averaging 14.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 2.6 blocks and 2.1 steals, while shooting 51.2 percent from three. Golden State has won the West title each of the past two seasons.

Brown, last a Spurs assistant in 2003 who has said he hopes to do something to repay Popovich someday for the opportunity, certainly learned some X's and O's but it went far beyond that to observing how Popovich has adapted to players now and continued to be a top-notch communicator. They will be playing the Golden State Warriors, a team that has finished just ahead of the Spurs in their past few seasons. On defense, Durant, Iguodala and Green's ability to switch means the Warriors don't lose a step on that end of the floor either. Harden himself couldn't put a finger on what led to his sub-par performance, only explaining to reporters that he couldn't get into a rhythm.

For the Spurs to have a realistic chance at upsetting the Warriors, they will need someone to step up alongside Leonard. "That's the team to beat", said Aldridge from the podium in Houston. "This team has worked hard all year and we've grinded and tried to get better, so I'm happy to finally win (the series)". But Harden should've been the best player on the court in Game 6. "Everyone is focused in on what we're trying to achieve here".