It has not been an easy postseason in the 2017 NBA Playoffs for the San Antonio Spurs. They’ve strived through several series and pushed on to victory through numerous injuries, but they may have come up against the insurmountable in the Golden State Warriors. Another key San Antonio Spurs player left the court injured in Game 3 and the Golden State Warriors capitalized for the win in what may very well be a third series sweep in their playoff run.
The Spurs already came into this latest match-up hobbled. They lost access to a court leader in Tony Parker when the San Antonio veteran went down in with a leg injury in the series against the Houston Rockets. They had to face Game 3 without star player Kawhi Leonard as well. Leonard suffered a sprained ankle in Game 2 against the Golden State Warriors and was not cleared to play in Game 3.
Bad luck continued to hit the Spurs roster early on in the game as center David Lee went down with an apparent injury in the first quarter of the game. Immediately following, it was reported on the San Antonio Spurs’ Twitter, that Lee suffered a knee injury that had him leaving the court in a wheelchair. Lee would not return to the game and the Spurs were forced to continue on without him for the remainder of the game.
Gregg Popovich is certainly one of the best coaches in the game and made some shifts to keep the Spurs in the game, but the injuries to these key players quickly caught up to San Antonio on the court. During most of the first and second quarters, San Antonio managed to keep ahead of the Warriors with a short lead, but Stephen Curry, Kevin Durant, and the Warriors took advantage, rushing from behind to outscore the Spurs and take the lead at halftime. The Warriors played rough, forcing more than a few fouls, such as the one that took out Lee, and closed out the half at 64-55.
When the third quarter began, Golden State picked up right where they left off, challenging the Spurs up and down the court while Popovich and his team tried to recover and put together a working strategy. Kevin Durant was a constant stat leader for the Warriors, putting up a total of 33 points, and lending further aid with more than 10 rebounds.
For their part, San Antonio did what they could in turning the game around. Manu Ginobili put on an impressive show, leading the Spurs with 21 points, and he made some great plays throughout the game. Pau Gasol also lended a hand with 10 rebounds, and Patty Mills put in his work with six assists.
At the end of the day, it just wasn’t enough. The Golden State Warriors ended up winning Game 3, 120-108, after building a lead that was truly never in doubt following the second quarter. That makes the 12th straight win the Warriors have under their belt, 11 of which have during their impressive NBA Playoff sweep. At 3-0 versus the San Antonio Spurs, odds are heavily in Golden State’s favor.
Losing Tony Parker and Kawhi Leonard was bad enough, but the additional loss of David Lee may very well be a death sentence for the team. Golden State has been on a roll and it would appear that the Spurs are now too hobbled to stop the momentum. If San Antonio was healthy, it could be a different story in their series with the Warriors, but with so many unfortunate circumstances, it may be the end of the Spurs’ NBA playoff run this year.
[Featured Image by Ronald Martinez/Getty Images]