The San Antonio Spurs eased into the Western Conference finals after the Houston Rockets bowed out of the National Basketball Association playoffs with a whimper.
And those images will linger for some time.
Harden finished with 10 points on 2-of-11 shooting with seven assists and six turnovers before fouling out with 3:15 remaining. "We slowed the game down, made 'em pay for mismatches and set our transition defense".
Harden accepted some of the blame for the loss. However, he had no answers as to what went so terribly wrong on Thursday night. "It's frustrating. It's frustrating, definitely. It is tough, especially the way we lost at home". We've been really good at bouncing back.it hurts. "Hopefully this will spur us on". While this season was a success - the Rockets surpassed expectations and clearly have built a team that allows Harden to flourish - the final two games of this series will add to the doubts that already follow Harden and D'Antoni.
The trio of Aldridge, Murray and Gasol combined for 33 of San Antonio's 60 rebounds, as the Spurs pummeled the Rockets on the glass by a 23-board margin. After all, there were plenty of folks ho-humming about Kahwi being out for the end of Game 5, and it turned out the injury was serious enough to keep him out of the next game, too. He was out of sorts from the start and the Rockets were all but out of the game by halftime.
Rockets guard James Harden, a league MVP candidate, was a nonfactor as Houston faced elimination.
Harden has spoken openly about his desire to play every game, but it's a coach's job to put the needs of the team ahead of individual desire.
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He said the flights will allow "my Tamil brothers and sisters" to visit Varanasi, the land of Kashi Vishwanath. This is his second visit to the Indian Ocean island nation as Prime Minister after his visit in March 2015.
"The guy who is hardest on James is James", Morey said. "Everyone's disappointed, but he's No. 1". Harden's games would be condensed into one fewer month of total time. He still seemed stunned by what transpired and used the word "shell-shocked" three separate times on Friday. I know that he'll do that again. "I felt like I was making some passes and we just didn't knock down shots, or whatever the case may be".
Spurs coach Gregg Popovich improved to 20-6 in the playoffs against D'Antoni, remaining a ideal 5-0 in head-to-head series between the coaches. The Spurs were getting destroyed in Game 5 and if it were not for those missed open threes, we would probably be talking about a Houston series win rather than a series loss.
Although Leonard has been the biggest reason for San Antonio's success, they shocked the Rockets without him in game six to close out the series.
It's a laugh to say that any guard could have done this with D'Antoni at the reigns. They're a fast-paced team that likes to shoot on the perimeter.
"That's how they won this last series (against the Rockets), by keeping balls alive", Durant said. "They're better than us right now". Feeling ill appears to take the blame for him faltering down the stretch in Game 5 and for his Game 6 performance as well. There is LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.
LaMarcus Aldridge paced the offense 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. They should absolutely head into the summer content with what they got out of the Harden-D'Antoni pairing in year one and look to build on that identity.
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