The Golden State Warriors defeated the San Antonio Spurs, 120-108, to take a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals, Saturday, May 20, 2017, at the AT&T Center in San Antonio, Texas.
The Spurs started without star guard Kawhi Leonard. They came out with great energy and execution at home. The Warriors led for most of the first quarter; until the last three minutes.
San Antonio came on strong in those last moments. They tied the game and went on to lead by six points. The Spurs led with 33-29 at the end of the first.
The Spurs held the lead in the second quarter until they were tied by the Warriors, 41-41, with 7:32 left in the half. Over the next three minutes, the game was tied three times. It was the closest the Spurs would get.
From the 4:10 mark until 1:20 left, the Warriors took over the period. They went on a 12-0 run to lead, 61-49. San Antonio went cold for those minutes, after shooting very well in the first quarter. Golden State remained hot, shooting 59 percent in the first half. They finished the second quarter leading the Spurs, 64-55.
The Warriors slowly began to pull away in the first part of the third quarter. All-star forward Kevin Durant came alive offensively by scoring 19 points in the third. His hot shooting from 3-point land and excellent free throw accuracy was key to pushing the Warriors ahead by 18 points with 2 minutes remaining. Golden State led San Antonio, 100-88, at the finish of the third.
The final quarter was more competitive with the Spurs playing even with the Warriors. San Antonio pulled to within eight points early, but Golden State went on a 10-0 run in the middle of the period. From that point on, the Warriors cruised to the win.
The Spurs defense could not hold down the Warriors enough to get closer than 12 points. They sorely missed Leonard, who was the defensive player of the year in the NBA, especially during the second half. It is not known if he will return for game 4.
San Antonio was led by Manu Ginobili, who scored 21 points. Center LaMarcus Aldridge chipped in 18 for the Spurs. The Spurs played hard and valiantly, but it was evident the Warriors were the better squad.
Golden State’s high scorer was Kevin Durant, who finished with 33 points and 10 rebounds. Stephen Curry contributed 21 points, and the Warriors had, remarkably, six players in double figures for the contest.
The teams will clash again on Monday, May 22, in San Antonio. The Spurs face an, almost impossible task, as no team in NBA playoff history has come back from being down 0-3.
Written By D.T. Osborn
Edited by Cathy Milne
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Featured and Top Image Courtesy of D.T. Osborn