San Antonio book date with Golden State in the West


But Golden State happens to be the No. 2 overall defense, only giving up 0.5 more points per 100 possessions than the Spurs. Either the Warriors will use their superstar weaponry to pour it on the Spurs or San Antonio will resist, slowing the game down and turning it into more of a defensive battle.

Curry said at this point, the Warriors won't be doing any double-takes regarding former longtime teammate David Lee coming off the bench for the Spurs.

Still, the Warriors are a different beast, and the Spurs need their most unsafe weapon.

The San Antonio Spurs eliminated the Houston Rockets with a 114-75 victory in Game 6 of the Western Conference semifinals Thursday night, and they didn't even need Kawhi Leonard to do it. They will be the Spurs next mission to complete.

"He's going to play", said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich.

But they won't have much time to celebrate their Game 6 win over the Rockets last night in Houston.

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Despite the series lasting six games, five of them were enormously one-sided.

Leonard hopes to return to action Sunday for Game 1 of the National Basketball Association semifinals series. I'm not kidding. They have played 10 games and both teams have won five games.

Leonard, San Antonio's leading scorer, injured his ankle when he inadvertently stepped on Rockets guard James Harden's left foot while chasing a loose ball with 5:37 left in the third quarter of Game 5. With Golden State standing in front of San Antonio now, though, Leonard will be key to his team's success. Mike Brown will again coach in his place. The Spurs on the other hand seemed in a rush to face the inevitable: a conference finals sweep against the well-rested Warriors.

Kevin Durant doesn't care who is on the court for San Antonio, he knows that Popovich will have his group ready complete with a few surprises in the playbook. In 2015-16, the Spurs lost a seven-game series against the Clippers in the first round. Green has thrived in the playoffs, making 21 of 41 3s while averaging 14.9 points, 9.1 rebounds, 7.3 assists, 2.6 blocks and 2.0 steals.

The series will feature several subplots, most notably among the coaches. Patty Mills, Danny Green, Kawhi Leonard, LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol. "As a team, and as a unit, we just didn't have a rhythm and they capitalized on that".

San Antonio was up by 23 after the third quarter and scored the first seven points of the fourth to make it 94-64 and send numerous home fans streaming to the exits. "It was a long series, an exhausting series and now we play at noon, but we're here", Manu Ginobili said.