Ruthless Warriors breeze past Spurs to book spot in NBA Finals
STEPHEN Curry and Kevin Durant led the way as the Golden State Warriors sealed a clean sweep of the San Antonio Spurs to reach their third consecutive NBA Finals berth on Monday.
Curry scored 36 points and Durant weighed in with 29 as the Warriors powered to a 129-115 win to complete a 4-0 victory in the best-of-seven Western Conference finals series.
It was the third consecutive series sweep of the 2017 postseason for the Warriors, who are now 12-0 in the playoffs heading into the finals.
Durant, who attracted controversy after his blockbuster move from Oklahoma City Thunder last year to the Warriors, was delighted to be back in the NBA Finals once again.
The 28-year-old forward, who also pulled down 12 rebounds and contributed four assists, admitted he and Curry had rediscovered their understanding following the mid-season injury that sidelined him for around 20 games.
“Our chemistry is getting better and better and we’re going to need it even more whoever we play in the finals,” Durant said.
“It’s great to be one of the last two teams standing — we’ll see what happens.”
Curry meanwhile admitted he was relishing his partnership with Durant.
“It makes the game fun,” Curry said. “The way we play the game and move the ball. Watching him do what he does. It’s a fun way to play and we want to keep that up. I’m having fun, enjoying what I do.
“Things are flowing. It’s a part of our identity to get that mojo going. I think we’re prepared for pretty much anything. We’re going to be confident and ready to go.”
Spurs fans meanwhile bade what looked like a farewell to 39year-old Argentinian legend Manu Ginobili, who was given a rousing ovation as he left the court.
“He’s somebody I grew up watching,” Durant said. “An amazing competitor. I got nothing but love and respect for him.”
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said Ginobili had been handed a starting berth “out of respect.”
“This is a hall of fame player who allowed me to play him off the bench for the last decade or something because it would make us a better team overall,” Popovich said. “He’s a big reason for our success. He deserved to have that night of respect so that he really feels that we appreciate everything he’s done for us over the years.”
The Warriors win keeps them on course for an unprecedented third consecutive NBA Finals meeting with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who lead their Eastern Conference finals series against Boston 2-1.
RESULT — Western Conference finals (best of seven series): Golden State 129 San Antonio 115 (Golden State win 4-0). AFP
Golden State’s Stephen Curry (right) tussles for the ball with San Antonio’s Manu Ginobili in Texas on Monday.