The 2017 NBA Finals gets underway on June 1.
The San Antonio Spurs had a small chance of upsetting the Golden State Warriors before the Western Conference Finals began.
If you are looking for a basketball game with a closer margin of victory, check out the Minnesota Lynx at the Dallas Wings tonight at 7 pm on Fox Sports North.
If the Warriors defeat the Spurs in Monday's game four in San Antonio they will book a place in their third consecutive NBA Finals series.
Despite forward Kawhi Leonard being uncertain with a sprained left ankle and two disheartening National Basketball Association playoff losses at Golden State, the San Antonio Spurs have vowed to fight back aggressively. Yet still, their fate was the same.
The Spurs looked lifeless in Game 2 and they were dismantled 136-100.
"The fact is, it's just too tough". They've also been on the receiving end of those comebacks, against the L.A. Lakers in the 2004 Western Conference Semifinals and again against the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2012 Western Conference Finals. They're like the Death Star, a weapon of destruction that can only be taken down with the perfectly planned strike to the tiniest of weak spots. Meanwhile, he was reportedly still sidelined during team practice with Spurs alum Tim Duncan.
Durant had 33 points, 10 rebounds, four assists, two steals and a block, Curry had a relatively quiet 21 points and Green contributed 10 points and seven rebounds. The Warriors shot 54.8% overall.
The team's leading scorer was Manu Ginobili, who threw in 21 points off the bench in just 18 minutes of action.
Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich announced the morning of the game that Leonard would not be a go, but not everyone believed him. The Spurs now trail the best-of-seven series 0-3.
But as is always a case with Popovich and his Spurs, there was a method to the madness.
Leonard was also averaging a career-playoff high 27.7 points per game this postseason, while chipping in 7.8 boards and 4.6 helpers per contest through 12 appearances. Not giving a shooter landing space is widely considered one of the dirtiest and most risky plays in basketball.
For much of the first half, it nearly looked possible.
Then the mother of all beat-downs transpired on Friday as the Cavaliers destroyed the Celtics 130-86 in Game 2. LaMarcus Aldridge and Jonathon Simmons were the only Spurs starters to reach double-figures.
San Antonio cut the lead to 61-55 on a free throw and a basket by Ginobili and a put-back by Aldridge but West canned a three-pointer with 10.9 seconds left to grant the Warriors a 64-55 lead at intermission. He missed a putback at the rim. The Spurs already came into this latest match-up hobbled. The Warriors' lead climbed to 18. The Warriors and Cavs are on a collision course. Perhaps it was the well-respected coach's way of psychologically motivating his team for Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals after blowing a 20-plus lead in game 1. They'd fought back so valiantly not once or twice but three times slicing into double-digit deficits.
The Spurs played with a lot of heart; they held the lead several minutes into the second quarter and got within single-digits in the fourth, but they just didn't have enough firepower to keep up with the juggernaut Warriors.
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