Warriors eye first-round sweep of Spurs

by Abel Hampton April 24, 2018, 9:17
Warriors eye first-round sweep of Spurs

Head coach Gregg Popovich also missed Game 3 on Thursday after his wife died.

Last season, in steamrolling to their second National Basketball Association title in three years with a 16-1 postseason record, the Warriors followed up a 3-0 series lead with a Game 4 win three times. But then, after three straight games of missing so many 3-pointers, especially wide-open looks, the Spurs finally connected from distance in Game 4 at AT&T Center, sinking 15 3-pointers, one shy of their playoff high as a team.

If a Game 5 is needed, it would be played Tuesday night in Oakland.

Rudy Gay, a new member of San Antonio's starting lineup, scored 14 points with seven rebounds, and Manu Ginobili scored 16 points off the bench. Durant leads the Warriors in playoff scoring at 27.3 points per game, but Thompson is nipping at his heels at 25.7 points per game.

"Teams got pride, especially the Spurs", Warriors forward Kevin Durant said.

The two-time NBA Most Valuable Player has made "consistent functional progress" and will continue to increase the intensity of his on-court rehabilitation sessions, the Warriors said in a statement. Aldridge and Gay, who started, both scored 10 points in the first two quarters.

Parker, who had complained about his lack of minutes in the series, was rejuvenated with 17 points in 30 minutes to provide a secondary scoring punch, while the 7-foot-1 Maker came out of nowhere to stretch the floor with 3-of-4 shooting on 3s for 14 points. Kerr mused that Curry "had a nice hair cut" before noting the joy both Curry and the Warriors feel for having him actually practice for the first time in nearly a month.

Golden State is hoping to end the series Sunday since its upcoming opponent in the semifinals - New Orleans - has already finished off its first-round sweep of third-seeded Portland. Golden State shot 34.7 percent (17/50) and was 4 of 13 from the three-point line. Thompson had only five points.

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