Dominant Golden State take 3-0 lead in Western Con­fer­ence fi­nals

New Straits Times - - Sport -


KEVIN Du­rant scored 19 of his 33 points in the third quar­ter Satur­day as the Golden State War­riors took a stran­gle­hold lead in the NBA Western Con­fer­ence fi­nals with a 120-108 blowout of San An­to­nio.

“I love where my game is at,” Du­rant said. “I work hard ev­ery day I know what I can do in this league. I just try to put my head down and go.”

The War­riors now lead the Spurs 3-0 in the best-of-seven series with game four set for to­day in San An­to­nio.

The vic­tory ap­pears to put the War­riors on a col­li­sion course to meet the mighty Cleve­land Cava­liers in the NBA fi­nals.

No NBA team has ever come back to win a series af­ter los­ing the first three games.

The Cava­liers are up 2-0 in their NBA semi-fi­nal series and have an im­pres­sive 247-192 scor­ing ad­van­tage against the Bos­ton Celtics, who lost star player Isa­iah Thomas to a sea­son-end­ing in­jury on Satur­day.

Stephen Curry tal­lied 21 points for the War­riors, who are now a per­fect 11-0 in the post-sea­son to match the best start in NBA play­off his­tory. They have won 26 of their past 27 games.

Curry ex­pects to see a dif­fer­ent Spurs team to­day.

“Game four is go­ing to be even tougher,” he said. “It is a chance to close it out and they are go­ing to come out swing­ing.”

The host Spurs trailed by nine points at the half in game three and came within 6965 two min­utes into the third quar­ter be­fore Golden State seized com­mand with another in­cred­i­ble scor­ing per­for­mance.

It was the Spurs’ chance to claw their way back into the series, but by the mid­dle of the fourth quar­ter at AT&T Cen­ter arena, they ap­peared spent.

“They did a great job and com­peted re­ally well,” Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said of Golden State.

“Ev­ery time you look up, you are play­ing against four all stars. We turned it over too much and we have got to make more shots.”

San An­to­nio play­ers be­gan set­tling for shots early in pos­ses­sions and missed the ma­jor­ity of them as the War­riors com­piled an 18-point lead in front of a dis­pleased San An­to­nio crowd of 18,700.

The Spurs’ hopes were se­verely dam­aged ear­lier Satur­day when the team an­nounced that star for­ward Kawhi Leonard would not play in game three be­cause of a sprained left an­kle.

Leonard orig­i­nally in­jured it in game five of the sec­ond round against Hous­ton and rein­jured it in the series opener against the War­riors. AFP

Kevin Du­rant

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