Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs were pushed to six games against the Grizzlies in the first round and six games to the Rockets in the second round. The five-time All-Star led six Spurs scorers in double figures with a season-high 34 points and 12 rebounds.
Leonard sat out the Spurs’ series-clinching victory over the Houston Rockets with an ankle injury on Thursday. San Antonio led by as many as 25 points, but Golden State cut the lead and the Spurs responded once again.
Game 1 in the series is Sunday.
San Antonio moves on to play the Golden State Warriors in a series that will begin on Sunday. Despite winning 67 games and earning home-court advantage throughout the postseason, many wonder how Golden State stacks against a team with capable inside scorers. “They played well and we didn’t”. We’ve actually had to execute and get to this point.
“They’re just so dominant down low; they have so many veterans on this basketball team”.
Game 5 was undoubtedly a close match as it required an overtime, and not having Leonard was a risk but it still ended in favor of San Antonio, 110-107.
But that had been anticipated even before Leonard – who had suffered a sprained left ankle in Game 5 Tuesday, sitting out the series clincher two days later – participated fully in practice at the team’s facility Saturday.
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich announced before the game that Leonard would not play.
Gasol on the lopsided win: “No one expected a Game 6. win like this, but we just played hard”. But it still seemed to be bothering him quite a bit after the game when he headed to the bus still walking with a noticeable limp.
Harden, who finished second in scoring during the regular season at 29.1 points per game, did not attempt a shot until the 6:19 mark of the second quarter.
After acknowledging for several years that they aspire to be Spurs 2.0, the Warriors will come face to face with the real thing in the next round of the playoffs.
Houston, which relied on its 3-point shooting to get this far, couldn’t make shots from long-range going 13 of 40.
Matthew Jordan of Sportsbook Review feels that the Warriors are going to win Game 1 of the 2017 NBA Western Conference Championship, but he suggests taking the 10 points and backing the Spurs. In an appearance on SportsCenter, Smith said that he thought Harden looked like he had been drugged prior to Game 6 and called an investigation into the matter. Despite similarities in game flow, the defending Western Conference champions have a starting lineup more equipped to keeping the offensive pressure on San Antonio.