The San Antonio Spurs will have their star player, swingman Kawhi Leonard, on the court Sunday for Game 1 of the Western Conference finals against the Warriors. The Cavaliers haven't lost ATS since failing to cover in their first two playoff games against the Pacers. Money line value on the Rockets plummeted as well and you had to lay a large amount to take Houston, but that didn't stop one confident bettor from placing lots of money on Houston to win. "I wouldn't call it smooth sailing at all".
Houston, which relied on its 3-point shooting to get this far, couldn't make shots from long-range going 13 of 40. Pat Beverley can run the team a little bit. But he will get better. And sometimes Game 1 is a tricky spot for a team that's been off for a while.
LaMarcus Aldridge top-scored with a season-high 34 points for San Antonio.
The old saying goes, "defense wins championships", but will that necessarily hold true in this series?
Curry and Thompson scored 29 and 23 points, respectively, for the Warriors. He contributed 22 points and 15 rebounds in that game. This turns the Rockets into the first National Basketball Association team to get knocked out of the postseason in consecutive years by 30 points or more losses.
Game 2 is Tuesday night back at Oracle Arena in Oakland. Pachulia later slid toward him as he came down from shooting and Leonard fell into the Spurs bench, grabbing his ankle. "Team rebounding is going to be huge". He made all 11 of his free throws.
"It's a tough break. It was a long series, an exhausting series and now we play at noon, but we're here", Manu Ginobili said. "So we couldn't react to his absence".
The Rockets needed Nene desperately in this game. While all the attention is on the superstars on Golden State, Green will likely be key in this series as he continues his postseason redemption tour. "It goes to show, I think we have everybody here that's capable of getting the job done".
"He's gone through hell", Popovich said pregame.
Asked if Harden was injured, D'Antoni said, "He's been battling that cold, but nothing I know of". Curry and Thompson each nailed four 3-pointers.
"It could be said that (the Spurs) should win", D'Antoni told USA TODAY Sports last week before Game 3. Pau Gasol finished with 18 points, followed by Aldridge (17) and Danny Green (16). Warriors: San Antonio forced 19 turnovers and had six steals among the Warriors' initial nine miscues.
Golden State was a -20,000 favorite against the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round of the postseason and a -10,000 favorite against the Utah Jazz?in the second round. Andre Iguodala was limited by a sore left knee.
"We're not where we are, Game 5, people are down on him at the end of the game, well we're down 10 without James".