Instant Replay: Warriors sweep Spurs, head to third straight NBA Finals

Instant Replay: Warriors sweep Spurs, head to third straight NBA Finals


SAN ANTONIO -- The Warriors entered the NBA record book Monday night. They also advanced to the NBA Finals for the third consecutive season for the first time in franchise history.

Their 129-115 spanking of the Spurs in Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals at AT&T Center completed a sweep of the series, extending the Warriors’ record this postseason to 12-0 and making them the first team in league history to post such a record while also opening the playoffs with three consecutive four-game sweeps.

Stephen Curry put in 36 points to lead the offensive attack. Kevin Durant finished with 29 points, Draymond Green with 16, Ian Clark with 12 and Klay Thompson added 10.

Once again, though, it was a scrambling and switching defense that generated most everything the Warriors did. They limited San Antonio to 42.3-percent shooting from the field -- 35.1 through the first three quarters. The Warriors shot 55.8 percent.

The Warriors outrebounded the Spurs 53-41 and won despite committing 17 turnovers, off which San Antonio scored 22 points.

Playing without All-Star forward Kawhi Leonard, the Spurs were led by Kyle Anderson, who totaled 20 points.

Though most members of the starting lineup submitted strong performances, Durant and Green were twin terrors.

Green’s line: 16 points (5-of-10 shooting from the field, 2-of-5 from beyond the arc, 4-of-6 from the line), eight rebounds, eight assists and two steals. Starting at center for the injured Zaza Pachulia, Green played 34 minutes and was plus-19.

Durant’s line: 29 points (10-of-13 from the field, 2-of-4 from deep, 7-of-7 from the line), 12 rebounds and four assists. A model of efficiency, he played 38 minutes was finished plus-18

Though the Warriors quickly built a double-digit lead (19-7, 5:48 left in the first quarter), the Spurs rallied back several times, getting as close as seven early in the second quarter before the Warriors pulled away.

When San Antonio closed to within 36-29 with 8:36 left in the second quarter, the Warriors responded with a 15-3 run to go up 51-32 with 4:54 left in the half.

The Spurs got no closer than 10 in the second half.

Curry moved Lakers legend Kobe Bryant into fifth place on the all-time list of postseason 3-pointers. Bryant retired with 292. Curry has 295.

Warriors: F Andre Iguodala (L knee soreness) was listed as probable and upgraded to available. C Zaza Pachulia (R heel contusion) was listed as questionable but declared out prior to tipoff. F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) was listed as doubtful and declared out prior to tipoff.

Spurs: F David Lee (L knee injury) and F Kawhi Leonard (L ankle sprain) were listed as doubtful and declared out prior to tipoff. G Tony Parker (L quadriceps tendon rupture) was listed as out.

The Warriors await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals between the defending champion Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics. The NBA Finals are scheduled to begin June 1 at Oracle Arena.


Hopeful night at Oracle turns solemn after Curry sprains left MCL

Hopeful night at Oracle turns solemn after Curry sprains left MCL

OAKLAND -- The words came dribbling out slowly, ruefully and with more than a trace of despair.

JaVale McGee, the 7-foot accidental villain, could barely speak about his role Friday night in the moment that left the Warriors pleading for mercy while their fans were screaming at the sky.

Stephen Curry, returning to the lineup after a six-game absence due to a right ankle sprain, lasted 25 minutes before sustaining another injury, this one a sprain to his left MCL. The two-time MVP will undergo an MRI test Saturday.

“I pray to God,” McGee said, “that nothing’s wrong with him.”

The injury occurred with 3:09 left in the third quarter. After biting on a pump fake by Atlanta forward Mike Muscala, McGee wound up tumbling backward, with his 270 pounds landing directly at the front Curry legs. Curry immediately started limping away, with the sellout crowd at Oracle Arena gasping in horror.

“I was trying to block a shot,” McGee said beneath a vacant stare, “and I ran into him.”

That’s the kind of month it has been for the Warriors. All four of their All-Stars have been knocked out of action by an array of injuries.

Curry went down March 8 after tweaking his surgically repaired right ankle. Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson were injured March 11 at Minnesota, Durant sustaining a rib cartilage injury after taking a elbow from 7-foot Timberwolves center Karl-Anthony Towns and Thompson spraining his right thumb after making contact with Minnesota point guard Jeff Teague.

Draymond Green began the next week as the team’s only healthy All-Star, a distinction that lasted eight days before he was struck down with a pelvic contusion Monday night in San Antonio.

“It’s like a juju or something on us,” McGee said. “I’ve never been part of a team where everybody just got injured, especially the starters. It’s kind of scary to tell the truth.”

Durant, Thompson and Green were unavailable Friday night, which is why Curry’s return was so encouraging. After a 2-point first quarter during which he went 1-of-6 from the floor, Curry found his stroke and over his next 16 minutes scored 27 points on 9-of-12 shooting.

Then came the most frightening moment of the night, throwing a massive damper on a 106-94 victory.

“I assumed it was his ankle when he came out hobbling and I found it was his knee,” coach Steve Kerr said. “We will see what the MRI says tomorrow.

“There is not a whole lot we can do or predict. It’s kind of a strange, cruel twist of fate. He rehabs his ankle for the last couple of weeks and gets that strong and the knee goes. We’ll see what happens. Fingers crossed.”

The Warriors came out of the All-Star break fairly healthy and ready to make a run at the No. 1 overall seed. They’ve achieved it in each of the last three seasons, coming away with two championships.

Hopes of getting there this season have disappeared under a pile of injuries, all of them coming over the last 16 days. As of late Friday night, there was no knowing how serious Curry’s injury is, or how long he might be out.

What’s known is that it was another in a succession of frightful moments.

“It’s a little somber in there,” Kerr said of the locker room. “Everybody feels for Steph. But it’s more a case of just keep going and keep pushing forward. We’ll come into tomorrow, short practice and get ready for Utah.”

That’s at the request of the schedule. That’s a dose of NBA reality on a grim night.

McGee didn’t seem ready for that. He was feeling awful about the entire episode.

“I can’t describe it,” he said of the play that followed everyone into the night. “Everybody has a TV. I fell into him and . . . I know y’all (reporters) don’t think I’m standing here like, ‘Yes, I fell into him.’

“That’s a star player. Of course, we don’t want him to be injured, especially after he came back. So I feel very bad for the fact that I was a part of that.”

McGee said he hopes Curry is out no more than a couple games.

The Warriors would be ever so pleased if it’s a couple weeks. They want to be whole for the postseason,, the only season by which they will be measured and a season that, on this night, nobody was of a mood to visualize.

Curry limps to locker room with left MCL sprain, does not return vs Hawks

Curry limps to locker room with left MCL sprain, does not return vs Hawks

OAKLAND -- Stephen Curry lasted 25 minutes Friday night before limping out of another game.

He was diagnosed with a sprained left MCL and did not return after sustaining the injury.

Curry came up limping after center JaVale McGee, leaping for a rebound, tumbled backward into his lower legs with 3:09 remaining in the third quarter of the Warriors-Hawks game at Oracle Arena.

Immediately, the sellout crowd let out a collective groan.

Curry, his face a mask of dejection, headed for the bench, where he was examined by Warriors physical performance specialist Chelsea Lane. The two then headed into the locker room.

Curry scored a team-high 29 points and grabbed seven rebounds before leaving the game. This was his first appearance since March 8, when he tweaked his surgically repaired right ankle, causing him to miss six games.

Curry has missed 21 of the team’s 71 games. He will undergo an MRI on Saturday, and his status beyond that is yet to be determined. 

This story is being updated.