Led by Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant, who combined for 65 points on 24-37 from the field, the Warriors shot 56 percent last night, opened a lead early, and never really let the Spurs back into the game as they clinched a spot in the NBA Finals for the third consecutive year.
Now they go home and rest and prepare for the Cavaliers, whose hiccup in game three against the Celtics means they have at least a couple more games to play before they complete the same Finals match-up for three straight seasons.
It was a disappointing end to another excellent Spurs season, as their chance to compete with the Warriors was taken away in a hail of injuries. Whether they could have forged an upset I don’t know—the Warriors are a great team—but it was disappointing for fans that they couldn’t compete at full strength.
One final note on this one: Manu Ginobili got the start in what might turn out to be the last game of his career. He hasn’t decided whether he’s retiring or not, but if that was it, let’s take a moment to pour one out for one of the great players of this generation, someone who was among the vanguard of international players in the NBA, a guy who was both entertaining and effective, who was brilliant both for the Spurs and for Argentina in international play, an icon.
One of my favorite players to watch.
Meanwhile, the Cavs host the Celtics tonight in game four of their series after the C’s shock comeback win in game three. LeBron James had a remarkably poor game, jarring after he has dominated the playoffs up to this point. I expect dominant LeBron again tonight, but at least the Celtics showed some fight.
The 3-0 Lynx are also in action tonight at 7:00 pm on ESPN2 when they host the Connecticut Sun, who are winless so far. The Lynx have been getting it done with defense, particularly defending the rim with Sylvia Fowles, Rebekkah Brunson and others. They have yet to really find their offensive rhythm for more than a few minutes at a time, largely because Maya Moore’s shooting has been off. Still, they’ve won all three of their games and still look like one of the top teams in the league.
Today in History
1059: Philip I crowned King of France
1430: Joan of Arc captured at Compiegne
1568: Netherlands declares independence from Spain
1660: Charles II returns from exile to England
1701: William Kidd hanged in London for piracy
1785: Ben Franklin announces his invention of bifocals.
1788: South Carolina becomes 8th state to ratify Constitution.
1813: Simon Bolivar leads invasion of Venezuela
1861: Virginia votes to secede from Union
1862: Stonewall Jackson takes Fort Royal, VA
1865: Victory parade in Washington, DC
1900: Associated Press forms in New York
1901: U.S. captures Filipino revolutionary leader Emilio Aguinaldo
1911: The NY Public Library building on 5th Avenue dedicated
1934: Battle of Toledo between 1,300 National Guardsmen and picketers at Auto-Lite
1945: Heinrich Himmler commits suicide in prison
1949: Federal Republic of Germany (West Germany) proclaimed
1958: Mao’s “Great Leap Forward” movement begins in China
Today’s Musical Birthday
Artie Shaw, born in 1910 (d. 2004.)