NBA Short-handed Spurs humble Houston to advance

San Antonio won the second-round series in six games and punched their ticket to the Western Conference playoff finals.

  • Published: , Refreshed:
LaMarcus Aldridge scores 34 points as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Houston Rockets 114-75 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas play

LaMarcus Aldridge scores 34 points as the San Antonio Spurs beat the Houston Rockets 114-75 at the Toyota Center in Houston, Texas

(GETTY IMAGES/AFP)
24/7 Live - Subscribe to the Pulse Newsletter!

The San Antonio Spurs humiliated the Houston Rockets with a 114-75 game six closeout win that brought James Harden's MVP-worthy season to a startling halt.

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.

"Everybody picked it up. It wasn't one guy scoring 40 points," said Spurs coach Gregg Popovich. "They played well at the offensive end with a lot of sense and defensively it was one of our best nights."

San Antonio won the second-round series in six games and punched their ticket to the Western Conference playoff finals against the Golden State Warriors, which kicks off on Sunday.

Harden's baffling performance in front of a Houston crowd of 18,050 at the Toyota Center arena was almost as big a stunner as the Spurs' winning a NBA playoff elimination contest by a whopping 39 points. The Rockets 75 points was second-lowest in a game during the Harden era.

And the Spurs didn't need Parker (torn left quadriceps) or Leonard (sore left ankle) to do it.

Jonathon Simmons added 18 points in place of Leonard, while Patty Mills chipped in 14 points and seven assists.

Dejounte Murray of the San Antonio Spurs dunks against James Harden (C) and Lou Williams of the Houston Rockets during Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals play

Dejounte Murray of the San Antonio Spurs dunks against James Harden (C) and Lou Williams of the Houston Rockets during Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals

(GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP)

Pau Gasol tallied 10 points with 11 rebounds for San Antonio, which trailed 5-4 in the first quarter before coasting to the win.

San Antonio shot 53 percent from the field, compiled a 60-37 rebounding advantage and limited Houston to 28 percent shooting.

"They feel as bad as I do. It is going to hurt and linger," said Rockets coach Mike D'Antoni.

Harden was a non-factor Thursday after finishing second in scoring during the season at 29.1 points per game. He did not attempt a shot until the 6:19 mark of the second quarter.

Harden accepted some of the blame for the loss.

"I just didn't have rhythm," Harden said. "I was making passes and we didn't knock down shots.

"It falls on my shoulders. It is tough, especially the way we lost at home."

Pau Gasol (L) and LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs defend against Trevor Ariza of the Houston Rockets during Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals play

Pau Gasol (L) and LaMarcus Aldridge of the San Antonio Spurs defend against Trevor Ariza of the Houston Rockets during Game Six of the Western Conference Semifinals

(GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA/AFP)

By halftime Harden had as many points as turnovers (five each), and just two field-goal attempts at the intermission.

Harden finished with 10 points on two-of-11 shooting with seven assists and six turnovers. Trevor Ariza paced Houston with 20 points, and Clint Capela had 15 points and 12 boards.

Asked if Harden was injured, D'Antoni said, "He's been battling that cold, but nothing I know of. I don't want to litigate what just happened."

Leonard hopes to return to action Sunday for game one of the NBA semi-final series.

The Rockets had been 3-0 against San Antonio in postseason series, winning in the first round in 1980, the conference semifinals in 1981, and the conference finals in 1995.

The other NBA semi-final features the Cleveland Cavaliers against either the Boston Celtics or the Washington Wizards.

The Celtics lead their second round series 3-2 and can close it out with a win Friday in Washington.

Do you ever witness news or have a story that should be featured on Pulse Ghana?
Submit your stories, pictures and videos to us now via WhatsApp: +233507713497, Social Media @pulseghana: #PulseEyewitness & DM or Email: eyewitness@pulse.com.gh.

Recommended Articles

Recommended Videos





Top Articles

1 Educated Footballers 6 football players with Master’s Degreesbullet
2 Oscar Pistorius South African court doubles paralympic champion's to...bullet
3 Maria Sharapova Returning Russian star shrugs off criticismbullet
4 Maria Sharapova Tennis star named in India luxury housing fraud probebullet
5 Indonesia Country's basketball players fixed games 'to pay their...bullet
6 Tennis Rafael Nadal downs Zverev in five-set thrillerbullet
7 Tribute Six things you didn't know about the late Ivorian...bullet
8 Major League Baseball Deadline extended as 'Japan's Babe...bullet
9 Terry Glenn Former NFL Patriots receiver dies in car crashbullet
10 Lewis Hamilton 'I messed up, needed to redeem myself,'bullet

Top Videos

1 Video Watch Ghana's 4*100 relay team record season's bestbullet
2 Video Ustin Gatlin beats Usain Bold and wins 100m final 9.92sbullet
3 Brianna Lyston Meet the 12-year-old Jamaican sprinter to rival Usain...bullet
4 AFCON 2017 Watch Ghana Black Stars in special Jama sessionbullet
5 Retirement Package Should John Mahama be granted his request by...bullet

More Sports