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Spurs rout James Harden, Houston Rockets 114-75 to win series

13 Mai 2017

Last night marked an important Game six in the Western Conference Semifinals where the Spurs went head to head with the Rockets in Houston.

One offseason goal for Morey and D'Antoni is to figure out ways to ease the burden on Harden, who turns 28 in August.

"Obviously, James Harden doesn't play for the Golden State Warriors, so I can not bank on James Harden going farther south than Galveston and allowing Jonathan Simmons and Dejounte Murray to take over games".

For his part, Harden took the blame for the Rockets' loss and said in the post-game news conference that he never felt he could get in a rhythm.

"All great players think they can do everything", D'Antoni said.

Spurs small forward Kawhi Leonard shoots for a basket against Houston Rockets point guard Patrick Beverley, right.

San Antonio Spurs will meet Golden State Warriors in the Western Conference Finals after defeating Houston Rockets on Thursday night. Of course second-year journeyman Jonathon Simmons, in the first playoff start of his career, outplayed and outscored MVP candidate James Harden.

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The Spurs claimed the best-of-seven Western Conference semifinal in six games by blitzing the Rockets despite both Tony Parker (torn left quadriceps) and Kawhi Leonard (sore left ankle) being out with injuries.

"He's really turned it on", coach Gregg Popovich said. Limiting fast break points is simple - just don't turn the ball over.

Harden almost averaged a triple-double during the regular season, posting 29.1 points, 11.2 assists and 8.1 rebounds per game.

Pau Gasol tallied 10 points with 11 rebounds for San Antonio, which trailed 5-4 in the first quarter before coasting to the win. More than that, it was the latest reminder that the Spurs aren't going away anytime soon. In all, he saw significant declines in shooting percentage (44% overall in the regular season to 41.3% in the playoffs; 34.7% from three-point range to 27.8%), assists (11.2 per game to 8.5), and rebounds (8.1 to 5.5).

Harden succinctly summed up the state of things postgame - "They just dominated", he said - but that only goes so far. Of course the stringy 29th pick in last year's draft, Dejounte Murray, who spent almost as much time in Austin as San Antonio during the regular season, looked completely poised while putting up a cool 11 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals.

Instead, San Antonio put on the kind of exhibition that no other team in the league could be expected to produce while missing one of the NBA's best players.

The Rockets obviously need to improve in order to compete with the elite teams in the West, and D'Antoni had a few ideas about what needs to happen. "I just told the guys, they had an unbelievable year". When the Rockets got good looks from deep, they actually shot well, hitting 47.1% on open and wide open threes. It was a pleasure coaching them.

Spurs rout James Harden, Houston Rockets 114-75 to win series