May 22, 2017; San Antonio, TX, USA; Golden State Warriors point guard Stephen Curry (30) drives to the basket past San Antonio Spurs small forward Davis Bertans (42) and Dewayne Dedmon (3) during the second half in game four of the Western conference finals of the NBA Playoffs at AT&T Center. Mandatory Credit: Soobum Im-USA TODAY Sports
(The Sports Xchange) – Stephen Curry scored 36 points and Kevin Durant added 29 points and 12 rebounds as the Golden State Warriors strolled to a 129-115 win over San Antonio Spurs on Monday to complete a four-game sweep of the Western Conference finals.
Golden State moves on to play either the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers, in a repeat of last year’s title series, or the Boston Celtics in the NBA Finals. The Cavaliers currently lead the Eastern Conference finals 2-1.
Golden State will have nine days of rest ahead of that series, which begins in Oakland, California on June 1.
The Warriors have swept all three of their playoff series and are the first team in NBA history to start the post-season 12-0, eclipsing the record established by the 1989 and 2001 Los Angeles Lakers.
“It’s a great run, and we had an opportunity to get it done tonight, but more importantly, it was obviously just a closeout kind of mentality and trying to take care of our business and play a good 48-minute game,” Curry said.
“For the most part, we did. We had some slip-ups and some mental errors, but for the most part it was a solid night. Contributions from everybody.
“Going 12-0 is great, but it doesn’t mean anything going into the next series, and we have to understand that.”
Golden State has won 27 of its past 28 overall games (including the regular season) and has won six straight road playoff games, a franchise record.
Draymond Green added 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for Golden State in the easy win at the AT&T Center. Ian Clark tallied 12 points and Klay Thompson scored 10 points (on 3-of-13 shooting) for the Warriors.
Golden State out-shot the Spurs 55.8 percent to 42.3 percent, had 53 rebounds to San Antonio’s 41 and dominated despite 17 turnovers that led to 22 San Antonio points.
Kyle Anderson led the Spurs with 20 points while Manu Ginobili added 15 in what may have been the last game of a brilliant NBA career. Patty Mills and Pau Gasol added 14 each and Jonathon Simmons scored 13.
LaMarcus Aldridge, arguably San Antonio’s most important player after injured star forward Kawhi Leonard, scored just eight points and did not play in the fourth quarter.
Despite the fact that the Warriors have cruised to their spot in the Finals, they are adamant that they can play better.
“There are things on both sides of the ball that we can clean up, and that’s what’s, I guess, got our guys’ attention or focus,” Warriors acting head coach Mike Brown said.
“We’ve been preaching certain things, and for the most part, they’ve been doing it, but to get to our ultimate goal of winning the whole thing, we’ve got to be better on both ends of the floor.”
Ginobili left the game in the final minutes to chants of “Manu, Manu” and “one more year.” He has said he will take three or four weeks off before deciding whether he wants to return to the league next season, when he will be 40 years old.
“The opponent was, in this case, way better than us,” Ginobili said of the Warriors’ domination of the series.
“When you lose by an average of 20 points per game in the last three games, you look at them in the eyes and say, ‘Congratulations, man, you beat us fair and square. You were better than us.’ It’s the easiest thing to do.”
(Editing by John O’Brien)