Published: Sun, May 14, 2017
Sport | By Gary Shelton

Pro basketball: Spurs rout Rockets to win series

San Antonio Spurs forward LaMarcus Aldridge (12) shoots over Houston Rockets guard Patrick Beverley (2) during the second half in Game 6 of an NBA basketball second-round playoff series, Thursday, May 11, 2017, in Houst. "The diving on loose balls, coming up with whatever it may be, you're throwing your body on the line in those situations".

"Game five, people are down on him at the end of the game, well, we're down 10 without James", he said. A series that began with a 29-point Spurs win at Golden State and ended with a 12-point Warriors victory in San Antonio also featured a 22-point Spurs home victory in a game in which Golden State sat out its top four players - Kevin Durant (who was injured), Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.

Yesterday the San Antonio Spurs completed their goal. If it's the same teams as a year ago, you KNOW I'm gonna have fun with that one. "When we win he gets the praise, when we lose he obviously gets the blame most of the time, so it's tough, it's unfair, but he's a strong guy, obviously he knows that".

"It's a mindset thing", said Patty Mills, who started in Parker's place for all but two games of this past series.

Harden took responsibility for the loss after the game, saying the Rockets never able to establish a rhythm. The two former New Orleans Pelicans combined to shoot 2-of-15 from the field, with Eric Gordon making both conversions for six points, while Ryan Anderson missed all six of his attempts. They outrebounded the Rockets, 60-37.

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Jonathon Simmons filled in nicely for Leonard, scoring 18 points and hounding the Rockets on defense. "Two All-Stars and even Pau (Gasol), who is 7-foot-something". We'll figure that out and get better this summer and then come back and do it again. Save for Rockets bench player Bobby Brown (who played just 3 minutes and 15 seconds during garbage time), that was by far the slowest average speed for a player on either team. Harden, who finished with nine turnovers, said he was not worn out despite playing 43 minutes.

Give us something - anything - that makes us forget LeBron James will be getting up from his Eastern Conference nap when this nail-shard fight comes to a close. "This team has worked hard all year and we've grinded and tried to get better, so I'm happy to finally win (the series)". The Rockets have not lost to the Spurs in three previous postseason series. "Demanded the ball, got in good position. he was wonderful on the boards and of course he passes it really, really well and gets it moving for us".

And while Harden looked very bad and not like himself Thursday, ample credit belongs to the Spurs for their defensive showing. "I don't think too much about carrying over this, that, or the other".

"All great players think they can do everything", D'Antoni told reporters. He's now leading all players in total free throws made this postseason with 101 (the next closest guy is at 84).

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