Sunglasses & Advil:
It's been nearly 12 hours and the basketball world is still looking for alleged MVP-contender, James Harden. Kawhi Leonard did not play due to a lingering ankle injury. James Harden did not play due to reasons that the public is not aware of. The San Antonio Spurs walked into Houston and pummeled the Rockets in a 114-75 shellacking, winning the series in six games. Harden, whose corpse was on the floor for 36 minutes, finished with 10 points and 6 turnovers. Harden did not struggle, for to struggle one has to take shots. He finished the first quarter without attempting a single shot and shied away from such opportunities all game long.
''Everything falls on my shoulders,'' said Harden. ''I take responsibility for it, both ends of the floor. It's tough, especially the way we lost at home for Game 6. But it happened and we move forward.''
Opposite of the leaderless Rockets, the leaderless Spurs had no mercy. LaMarcus Aldridge returned to form for at least one more game, continuing a career-long tradition of torching the Rockets in the playoffs. He finished with a game-high 34 points and 12 rebounds as he picked Houston's interior defense apart. Jonathon Simmons started in place of Leonard and made the Rockets pay on every possession they fell asleep. He added 18 points on 8-for-12 shooting; Patty Mills had 14.
The Rockets showed no urgency facing elimination at home, especially with Leonard out of the lineup. The Spurs on the other hand seemed in a rush to face the inevitable: a conference finals sweep against the well-rested Warriors.
The Western Conference finals begin Sunday, May 14th, as the Warriors host the Spurs.
When the Sun falls, then the Moonlight:
The home team is undefeated.
All of the pressure is on the Wizards tonight on the brink of elimination and Game 7, should they win, heading back to Boston. Game 6 featured a quiet performance from Isaiah Thomas and a not-so-quiet performance from Avery Bradley. After coughing up two potential wins in Boston, the Wizards now face elimination instead of advancing and it all falls on John Wall's supporting cast. Despite not having a terrible game in Boston, zero help for Wall will certainly result in a defeat for the Wizards.
The Cavaliers await the winner of the series and if either one of these teams wants a chance of competing with Cleveland, they're going to have to figure out how to win on the road.
BOS @ WAS | 8:00 PM ET on ESPN | BOS leads the series at 3-2.
Lines of the Night:
LaMarcus Aldridge: 34 points (16-for-26) | 12 rebounds | W
Jonathan Simmons: 18 points (8-for-12) | 4 assists | W
Trevor Ariza: 20 points (5-for-8 from three) | 5 rebounds | L
- Manu Ginobili now has 314 made three-pointers in his postseason career, third behind Ray Allen (385) and Reggie Miller (320).
- A source confirmed to Hoops Inq. that the Philadelphia 76ers are indeed a team of interest to Kyle Lowry. However, the Sixers are not atop his list and he is likely to remain in Toronto, should they want to keep him.