David Lee injury unfortunate, but changes little for San Antonio Spurs

Boston Celtics

David Lee injury unfortunate, but changes little for San Antonio Spurs

"We were a little stagnant there in the third quarter", Durant said.

Stephen Curry had 21 points and was the leading backup for Durant.

And while the Cavaliers were already an overwhelming favorite to eliminate the Celtics after winning the first two games of the series in Boston by wide margins, it's now nearly impossible to see the Celtics winning either of the upcoming two games in Cleveland - let alone somehow winning four of the next five games to reach the NBA Finals. They saw him nearly single-handedly rescue the Warriors' playoff hopes, however temporarily, a year ago when he hit 11 3-pointers and poured in 41 points in a win-or-perish Game 6 at Oklahoma City. Then in Game 3, the Warriors' starters combined for 97 of their 120 points in the victory.

The snake-bitten Spurs could ill afford to lose Lee having already seen Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker go down with significant injuries, but that appears to be the hand they've been dealt.

While it was a laughing matter at the moment it was no laughing matter the way the student dismantled his former teacher, leading by as much as 41 points in the game eventually won 136-100 by the home Warriors.

Leonard aggravated the ankle injury when he landed on Warriors center Zaza Pachulia's foot after taking a jump shot early in the third quarter of Game 1 on May 14. Golden State can not come into Game 4 thinking they have this series in the bag, as underestimating any opponent is a surefire way to earning an avoidable loss. Although Aldridge finished with 18 points on 7-for-17 shooting, he's left a lot to be desired as the go-to player without Leonard on the court. Even with Draymond Green's foul trouble and a staggering 21 team turnovers, the result was never in question for Golden State after the break.

Spurs: San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich opted to sit Leonard after conferring with the team's medical staff, but it wasn't a decision his All-Star forward agreed with.

"Every time you look up, you're playing against four All-Stars", Pop said, "so you'd better be pretty ideal". The chances that the Spurs, with or without injured star forward and erstwhile MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard, can do so are monumental, at best. Simmons looked like the only person in a Spurs jersey that came to play, as he set a career high with 22 points and hounded Golden State on defense the entire night.

"It feels like (San Antonio) can always stay in the game and always put up a fight and win", Durant said. He's pretty much a lock for his seventh straight finals appearance, so I think it's fair to say that literally, and I mean literally, no one can stop him. The Warriors also yielded 15 offensive rebounds, which San Antonio turned into 18 more points. "You have your years where you have your great playoff series, four or five Game 7s".

In some sense, Game 3 of Warriors-Spurs was quite similar to Game 3 of Warriors-Jazz.

"We knew we were going to be able to bounce back at least emotionally today and play a better game", Ginobili said. They sorely missed Leonard, who was the defensive player of the year in the National Basketball Association, especially during the second half. The swelling increased during the first two games against Cleveland, team doctor Brian McKeon said. "So, when they called my number, I just tried to go out there and be aggressive".

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