Manu Ginobili shares priceless moment with Popovich

The Spurs suffered season-ending injuries to two of their best players, Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, during their playoff run.

The Warriors can finish off a sweep of the San Antonio Spurs in the Western Conference finals on Monday at AT&T Center, which would mark Durant's first trip to the NBA Finals in five years, and Golden State's third straight appearance.

"Circumstances were such that we could be in a totally different position now", said Popovich, the Spurs coach whose teams have been swept only twice in 52 previous series on his watch. They responded by winning the first two games of the Eastern Conference Finals against the Boston Celtics on the road.

Drafted by San Antonio in 1999, Ginobili did not break into the league until the 2002-03 campaign, but quickly made an impact with his left-handed play-making wizardry.

Joe Lacob may not have said anything unexpected, but his appraisal of another Warriors-Cavaliers matchup in the NBA Finals is noteworthy nonetheless. The 39-year-old had maintained he will not ponder whether to retire or return until after the season.

Pachulia and his family have received death threats from fans who blame him for Leonard's absence after his controversial close-out that San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich called "dangerous" and "unsportsmanlike". "If (Leonard) was unable to play yesterday, I don't think there's going to be a miraculous healing by tomorrow".

Veteran Manu Ginobili - in a potential farewell game - posted 15 points for the Spurs. How different this could have been if Leonard didn't re-injure his ankle when San Antonio was rolling with a 23-point lead in the third quarter of Game 1. Definitely, I've got a lot of support out here.

The lead sat above 10 for most of the night, as the Warriors went 18 of 21 in the paint in the first half.

"Well, obviously it's something you're going to appreciate", Green said of the accomplishments thus far. "But, at the end of the day, a win is a win and you have to beat whoever is out there against you".

As the San Antonio Spurs try to stave off elimination in the series, a loss would hasten the questions about whether or not Ginobili, a free agent this summer, will return to the National Basketball Association or retire this summer.

"Our chemistry is getting better and better and we're going to need it even more whoever we play in the finals", Durant told an interviewer. "The opponent was better than us, and in this case, way better than us".

For the 12th straight time to begin the playoffs, the Golden State Warriors have secured a victory.

  • Arturo Norris