NBA: Durant helps Warriors sink Spurs
21 May 2017 - 23:13
New York: Kevin Durant scored 33 points, 19 of them in the decisive third quarter, and pulled down 10 rebounds as the Golden State Warriors easily dispatched the San Antonio Spurs 120-108 on Saturday in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals.
The Warriors lead 3-0 in the best-of-seven series with Game 4 set for today in San Antonio.
San Antonio trailed by nine points at halftime and got as close as 69-65 two minutes into the third quarter before Golden State took charge with its superior firepower and unselfish play.
By the middle of the fourth quarter, the Spurs were settling for shots early in possessions and missing most of them while the Warriors rebuilt an 18-point lead.
The Spurs' hopes to get back in the series were severely damaged when the team said before the game that forward Kawhi Leonard would not play because of his sprained left ankle.
Stephen Curry added 21 points and six steals for the Warriors, who are now a perfect 11-0 in the postseason and have won 26 of their past 27 games.
Klay Thompson had 17 points, JaVale McGee hit for 16 (all in the first half) and Draymond Green tallied 10 points, seven rebounds and seven assists as all five of Golden State's starters scored in double figures.
The Spurs got 21 points from Manu Ginobili, who hit 7 of 9 shots from the field, and 18 points from LaMarcus Aldridge. Jonathon Simmons added 14 points, and Pau Gasol contributed 12 points and 10 rebounds for San Antonio.
The Spurs took a 26-25 lead on a three-pointer by Patty Mills late in the first quarter and expanded it to 33-27 with 1.1 seconds to play on two free throws by Ginobili.
Golden State surged back into the lead in the middle of the second quarter, building a 61-49 advantage with 1:28 remaining while holding the Spurs scoreless for more than three minutes.
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.
Durant caught fire in the third quarter, scoring 19 points on 5-of-6 shooting, as the Warriors built an 18-point lead before settling for a 100-88 advantage through three quarters.
Meanwhile, Boston Celtics guard Isaiah Thomas will miss the remainder of the NBA play-offs after aggravating a hip injury during Game Two of the Eastern Conference final, the team announced on Saturday.
Thomas initially injured his hip in the third quarter of a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves on March 15, forcing the All-Star to miss the next two regular-season contests.
The 28-year-old Thomas aggravated his specific injury -- officially labeled as a right feboral-acetabular impingement with labral tear -- during Game Six of the second-round series against the Washington Wizards on May 12.
"Isaiah has worked tirelessly to manage this injury since it first occurred," said Dr. Brian McKeon, the Celtics' chief medical officer.
"The swelling increased during the first two games against Cleveland, and in order to avoid more significant long-term damage to his hip, we could no longer allow him to continue."
A femoral-acetabular impingement means that the ball joint in the hip socket is not moving freely around the cup in which it resides.
Thomas did not travel with the team to Cleveland for Game Three on Sunday. The Cavaliers lead the series, 2-0.
Thomas, who averaged 28.9 points per game during the regular season, scored 19 total points in the first two games against Cleveland.
Marcus Smart started for Thomas in the second half of Friday's 130-86 loss to the Cavaliers.