Warriors eliminate Spurs, advance to face Pelicans

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LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and 10 rebounds to lead the Spurs, but they were willed to the finish by Ginobili, who has said he will decide in the offseason if he will return for a 17th season. San Antonio was forced to foul Draymond Green as the advanced the ball with the shot clock turned off, and Green sank both free throws to seal the victory at 97-91.

One team was supposed to be here all along.

"Yeah, they pose a threat", Warriors guard Shaun Livingston said. If their shooting falls off as expected, they could find it hard to keep up with the Warriors offensively.

The season is over for the San Antonio Spurs, and plenty of questions surround their All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard. The Warriors as a team shot just 38 percent from the field and 25 percent from beyond the arc.

The Warriors exploded at the onset, beginning the game on a 9-0 run as they looked determined to punch their ticket to the next round.

The Spurs' defense that was the league's fourth-best during the regular season was hellacious again, holding the Steph Curry-less Warriors to 37.8% shooting overall and 25% from three-point range (seven-of-28) while forcing twice as many turnovers as they gave up (16 to eight).

With the Warriors still without the injured Stephen Curry, it was left to Klay Thompson and Durant to carry the offense. However, as inspiring as that performance was, it doesn't necessarily inspire confidence in the Spurs heading into Game 5.

As he did in Games 3 and 4, assistant coach Ettore Messina will serve as head coach in Game 5, ESPN's Marc J. Spears reported.

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A name to remember in the series: Darren Erman.

So the Argentine lefty pumped in 10 of his 16 points in the game's final six minutes, nailing a 23-footer with 27 seconds to go to avoid a sweep and further add to a regal resume that should land him in the Hall of Fame soon after he retires.

Utah now lead 3-1 heading into game five in Oklahoma City on Wednesday.

Our other win-or-go-home squad is the Heat as Dwyane Wade tried to channel The Flash of old in Miami's Game 4 loss at home.

They used a 13-3 burst in the second quarter to take a 35-26 lead.

After helping extend the series in Game 4, giving himself and Tony Parker the achievement of most playoff wins of any teammate duo in National Basketball Association history, Ginobili's 10 points and seven assists along with LaMarcus Aldridge's 30 points were not enough as speculation now builds as to whether this was the Argentinian's last playoff game. Green scored 17 and grabbed 19 rebounds.

Meanwhile in the Eastern Conference on Tuesday, the Philadelphia 76ers wrapped up a 4-1 series win over Miami to progress following a 104-91 victory. Golden State is just too good while the Spurs remain incomplete.

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