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Spurs Return to Western Conference Finals

Spurs Return to Western Conference Finals

The Warriors are expecting just that after watching role player Jonathan Simmons fill in with 18 points and stellar defense in the 114-75 win at Houston last Thursday and knowing how prepared and professional Gregg Popovich coached teams usually are.

Hyperbole? Maybe. But then again, Harden was that bad.

The Spurs routed the Rockets by 39 points in Thursday's series-clinching victory without injured Kawhi Leonard, who is expected to play in Sunday's opener in Oakland, California. However, the coaching team chose to let Leonard completely recover from his injured left ankle so he can be 100 percent ready when their team faces the Golden State Warriors.

The unnamed executive wasn't the only one to toss around the idea, either. Harden, on the other hand, spoke about never finding rhythm, and taking responsibility for the embarrassing loss. Game 6 featured a quiet performance from Isaiah Thomas and a not-so-quiet performance from Avery Bradley. But from the Spurs' side, a completely healthy roster for the series' duration and a head start of 15 points per game against the West's two-time defending champs might be nice. Best of luck next round, and continue to be great."We've got a whole summer for me to put it behind (me), for us to put it behind us".

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"He just has a presence about him", Popovich said. If the Spurs are to have any chance in this series, Leonard has to win this battle and be phenomenal. They jumped to a seven point lead (31-24) in the opening quarter, and never looked back. And while San Antonio deserves credit for largely staying faithful to its more traditional 2-big lineups involving LaMarcus Aldridge and Pau Gasol in this series, the team's ability to go small - even without Parker or Leonard available - essentially delivered the knockout blow in Game 6. Ailing Kerr attended the Warriors' practice Saturday morning, May 13, 2017, returning to the floor for the first time in more than three weeks. San Antonio led by as many as 42 points in the second half, administering a beating so thorough that it chased the partisan crowd to the exits well before the final horn.

Game one of the best-of-seven Western Conference Finals will be played at the Warriors' Oracle Arena on Sunday (Monday 5.30am AEST).

The Golden State Warriors have coasted their way into the Western Conference Finals without being truly tested.

Despite having to sit out the crucial parts of Game 5, Leonard still emerged as the team leader that night as far as the scoreboard was concerned. He's been spotty for the Spurs throughout the playoffs, though he finished with 34 points and 16 rebounds against the Rockets in Game 6.

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