Published: Wed, May 24, 2017
Sports | By Nelson Rowe

Warriors advance to third straight NBA Finals

Warriors advance to third straight NBA Finals

The Spurs announced about 90 minutes before tipoff that both injured star forward Kawhi Leonard (left ankle) and reserve forward David Lee (left knee) would miss the game, likely dooming any chance San Antonio had to extend the series.

"We started him tonight out of respect", San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said.

San Antonio's only lead came on the opening possession with a left-handed scoop shot from Manu Ginobili, who started in what could be his final game with the team.

Draymond Green added 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for Golden State. Then they won two in a row, and Durant sat out a win over the Nets.

The Warriors continued to dominate as they scored 39 points in the second period and ended the half up 72-44.

"We have a bigger goal in mind", Durant said. Golden State had Oracle Arena roaring as they easily defeated the Spurs, 136-100. In doing so, Golden State became the third team in history to go 12-0 on their way to the NBA Finals.

May 22, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; San Antonio Spurs shooting guard Manu Ginobili (20) leaves the court after game four of the Western conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center.

Obviously, the Warriors now await the finish of the Eastern Conference Finals which the Cavs currently lead 2-1.

"Honestly, I don't really care who we play (shoots a sly grin)". It's a fun way to play and we want to keep that up.

The team will now be looking to face either the Boston Celtics or Cleveland Cavaliers who are the defending champions that wrested the title from Golden State Warriors last season.

"This year is a totally different year, different group, different journey", Curry said.

Acting Golden State coach Mike Brown saluted his players. But, make no mistake, it was an incredible season from which fans can derive joy.

"Another season of trying to do my role better and find my spots and be myself where I can, trying to help my team win", he said. Once they extend Curry this offseason, they'll lose a key bench component - like 2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala - but surely some veterans around the National Basketball Association will want to play for the league minimum to get a ring (like David West). They execute at the defensive end of the floor. On offense, no team is more unselfish on finding the open man and that sort of thing.

The Warriors have shown their strength by blasting through the playoffs in the normally rugged West.

But Durant set up Curry for a wing three-pointer, which jacked the lead back to 14. As good as the offense has been, it's been the Warriors' defense that has been key to their playoff dominance. Some of you might say that is just one game, yes it is, but it is one game on the road more, and it has to be won.

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