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

Short-handed Spurs humble Houston

San Antonio Spurs assists in Game Six, versus 23.2 average in the first five with Kawhi Leonard in the line-up in the Western Conference semi-final series with Houston Rockets.

Story line: Unbeaten and mostly untested in the postseason, the Warriors are four wins from a third straight trip to the NBA Finals as they play a banged-up San Antonio team.

LaMarcus Aldridge paced the offence by scoring 34 points for the short-handed Spurs, who routed the Rockets despite the absence of top-scorer Kawhi Leonard and star guard Tony Parker.

"I don't know if it's true or not, but it's nearly like mentally it just zapped us", he said. If he has the ball in his hand, you have got to make sure you are connected, because if you are not, he is knocking down a three. "Last night will be the topic of conversation for a few days, but I think outside of that, once people continue to talk they understand the amount of work that he put into the season, the history that he created, the position that he put us all in to be successful, so those are the things that I think about".

The Spurs will next face the Golden State Warriors, starting Sunday. "He did a really good job".

Patty Mills chipped in 14 points and seven assists for San Antonio while Pau Gasol added 10 points and 11 boards. With the score tied at 18-18, the Spurs closed the final three minutes of first quarter on a 13-2 run and never looked back.

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In the very last ball of the first over, Sanju Samson was brilliantly runout by Stokes to reduce the home side to 3/1. The man that replaced Stokes in the middle, however, was the man who knows a thing or two about finishing a game off.

The Celtics' lead grew to 26 points in the fourth quarter. The Rockets 75 points was second-lowest in a game during the Harden era. It's the 20th consecutive season the Spurs have made the playoffs, and the only remaining constant over that span is head coach Gregg Popovich.

Morey said it was not fair to judge Harden based on a bad night in Game 6.

Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs were pushed to six games against the Grizzlies in the first round and six games to the Rockets in the second round. (Dejounte Murray) and he came in, he assisted, he played D, he scored. It was a real team effort. "They played well at the offensive ends with a lot of sets, and at the defensive end it was one of our best nights as far as scrambling around trying to keep up with these guys".

Mike D'Antoni admitted he may rethink how much rest James Harden receives during the regular season.

Asked if Harden was injured, D'Antoni said, "He's been battling that cold, but nothing I know of". They battled like insane and, for whatever season, this game we didn't have the juice and the stuff. Clint Capela finished with 15 points and 12 rebounds. San Antonio compiled a 60-37 rebounding edge and limited Houston to 28.6 percent shooting. He's hit 40.9 percent of his 3-point attempts (27 of 66). "But to me it's a joke to get on him, because we're not where we are (without Harden)".

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