SAN ANTONIO — Stephen Curry scored 36 points and the Golden State Warriors completed their third successive sweep in this year’s playoffs with a 129-115 victory over the injury-hit San Antonio Spurs Monday night to win their third straight Western Conference title.
Prior to this series, Golden State had also completed 4-0 sweep over the Portland Trail Blazers and the Utah Jazz in the opening two rounds of the playoffs.
San Antonio was again without injured star forward Kawhi Leonard, who failed to recover from a left ankle problem. Reserve forward David Lee (left knee) also miss the game.
In the closeout win on Monday night, Curry shot 14-of-24 from the floor and also finished with six assists and five rebounds.
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Kevin Durant added 29 points on 10-of-13 shooting to go with 12 rebounds, while Draymond Green had 16 points, eight rebounds and eight assists for Golden State, which became the first team in NBA history to start the playoffs 12-0.
“It’s a great run, and we had an opportunity to get it done tonight, but more importantly, it was obviously just a closeout kind of mentality and trying to take care of our business and play a good 48-minute game,” Curry said.
“For the most part, we did.
“We had some slip-ups and some mental errors, but for the most part it was a solid night. Contributions from everybody.
“Going 12-0 is great, but it doesn’t mean anything going into the next series, and we have to understand that.”
Also on the night, reserve Ian Clark contributed 12 points, while Klay Thompson ended with 10 points on just 3-of-13 shooting for the Warriors.
Kyle Anderson led the Spurs with 20 points and six rebounds off the bench, and Manu Ginobili, in what might have been the final game of his 15-year NBA career, added 15 points and seven assists in a rare starting role.
“We started him tonight out of respect,” San Antonio coach Gregg Popovich said. “That was the whole reason for starting him.
Ginobili left the game in the final minutes to a standing ovation.
“Before the game, you think it may or may not be his last game that he ever plays in, and I did not want to miss the opportunity to honor him in front of our home fans for his selflessness over the years.”
Pau Gasol had 14 points and nine rebounds off the bench, Patty Mills scored 14 points and Jonathon Simmons ended with 13 for San Antonio, which suffered just its third sweep in the Gregg Popovich era.
“Everybody tries to put together as much talent as they can, and that’s what (Golden State) did,” added Popovich.
“Make no mistake — they’re really talented. But that’s not the whole equation. That’s not everything that describes them.
“(Golden State is) maybe the best defensive team in the league on top of everything. So they don’t just play with talent.
“They execute at the defensive end of the floor. On offense, no team is more unselfish finding the open man and that sort of thing. Coaches are always trying to get their team to do that.
“But they’ve got a multitude of people who are unselfish in that regard and play a beautiful game. They’re way, way more than just their talent.”
As a team, the Warriors shot 55.8 percent to the Spurs’ 42.3 percent and dominated the home side at the AT&T Center, 53 to 41 in the rebounding stats.
Golden State advanced to the NBA Finals and now awaits the winner of the Eastern Conference finals series between the defending champions Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics.