Warriors become just the 5th team to start National Basketball Association playoffs 10-0

Curry shines as Warriors crush Spurs, lead NBA series 2-0

The San Antonio Spurs were on their way to a shocking win in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals until star small forward Kawhi Leonard went down with a sprained left ankle in the third quarter and the Golden State Warriors responded with a big rally.

The Golden State Warriors look ready to return to the NBA Finals for the third straight year, while the San Antonio Spurs are on the verge of missing the finals for the third straight year.

(Monica M. Davey/Pool via AP).

Notes: F Andre Iguodala, who missed Game 2 with soreness in his left knee, practiced in full Thursday while Pachulia participated in some of practice then worked out on a stationary bike as he nurses a bruised right heel that sidelined him for the second half of Game 2.

The Golden State Warriors have continued their flawless run through the playoffs to get within two victories of their third straight NBA Finals appearance. Shaquille O'Neal and Kobe Bryant led a Lakers team that swept Portland, Sacramento and San Antonio in the Western Conference playoffs.

Popovich made himself a little part of this on Monday, whether he wants to say so or not, when he issued his blistering prosecution of Zaza Pachulia's "dangerous" play that injured Leonard in Game 1.

Meanwhile, Jonathon Simmons, who started in place of Leonard, led the Spurs with 22 points and shot 8-of-17 from the floor.

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Meanwhile, the San Antonio Spurs needed to come out with guns blazing after the heartbreaking loss in Game 1, but they came out flat and absolutely paid for it as they found themselves down by double digits in a blink of an eye. In all likelihood, they are going to lose this series. "It's not that we are satisfied with that or we feel that we are finding excuses, those are the reasons I find, and I am not proud of it, but that's over". "We don't know where he is (physically). We're just trying to contest a shot". The Lakers' title hopes suffered a devastating blow when Magic Johnson injured his hamstring in Game 2 of the Finals.

And with that, all the side narratives for the Western Conference Final died the grisly deaths they so richly deserved.

"The schedule comes in and helps us out", guard Shaun Livingston said. "If he's got it going, give him the ball".

Kevin Durant added 16 points while Draymond Green chipped in with 13 points, nine rebounds and six assists.

"Tonight, it's not what I expected".

"I believe that", Popovich said. I don't think they started with a belief, and it showed in the lack of edge, intensity, grunts, all that sort of thing.

"You have to believe. That's what I know". They trailed Utah 50-49 after two periods of Game 3 in that series, but cruised to an 11-point win behind a strong second half. "And he'll probably get a lot more minutes down the stretch of this series, and he hopefully can continue to do the same". "If he doesn't, we'll try to face the game as if it's a Game 7". "Luckily we had Kawhi who was going through the roof".

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