Warriors sweep by Spurs, into another Finals

Ashish Mathur

It's not often a team advances to three straight NBA Finals and it's even less often that a team sweeps its way through the conference playoffs.

But mark down Golden State for both accomplishments, as the Warriors dispatched of the host San Antonio Spurs 129-115 in Game 4 of the Western Conference finals Monday.

The Warriors advance, yes, for the third straight time, to face either Cleveland or Boston in the East. The Cavs hold a 2-1 series lead.

"I don't care who we play," Warriors owner Joe Lacob said, via the San Jose Mercury News. "OK, maybe a slight preference for Cleveland."

Game 1 of the Finals is Thursday, June 1 at Golden State.

The Warriors raced to a 12-point lead after the first quarter and led by as many as 22. But the Spurs fought back to keep it in the 10-point range and make a game of it.

Steph Curry has saved his best basketball for the playoffs, and continued his torrid pace with 36 points Monday. Meanwhile, Kevin Durant, making his first Finals appearance as a member of the Warriors and second overall, tallied 29.

The Spurs once again were without star player and league-MVP candidate Kawhi Leonard, who injured his ankle in Game 1 and never returned.

With Leonard on the floor, the Spurs were able to dominate. Without him, they turned to basketball mush.

Kyle Anderson led San Antonio with 20 points, but when it comes to San Antonio, most people were focused on Spurs legend Manu Ginobili -- who could potentially retire before the start of next season.

"Whatever I decide to do, I'll be a happy camper," Ginobili told reporters.

It was the rare sweep of a Coach Gregg Popovich team, particularly on the Spurs' home floor.

Lead assistant Mike Brown has been coaching the Warriors in Steve Kerr's absence. Kerr continues to suffer from back issues, meaning Brown (a former Popovich) assistant, may have to lead the Warriors in the Finals.

It would be an interesting story line if Brown and the Warriors were to face the Cavs, as expected. The Cavs fired Brown twice, in 2010 and 2014.

The Cavs and Celtics play Game 4 Tuesday in Cleveland.