San Antonio Spurs Crush Houston Rockets To Win Series

During a session with the media before Thursday's Western Conference Game 6, San Antonio Spurs coach Gregg Popovich ruled Leonard out for the evening's tilt against the Houston Rockets.

A win by the Rockets tonight would put off the Western Conference Finals to Tuesday night; it would allow more rest for the team, and a more reasonable watching time for the fans. Kawhi Leonard was out for the Spurs, but San Antonio did not seem to care.

Despite having a home game in which the Spurs were missing starters Kawhi Leonard and Tony Parker, Harden was invisible for long stretches.

According to ESPN Stats & Information, the Spurs are now 5-0 in games without Leonard and Parker this season. We had our opportunities with about three minutes to go in the game to knock a couple 3s down I thought were good shots.

In fact, the Rockets made just 13 of the 40 3-pointers they took, a stark contrast to their 22-of-50 explosion from Game 1.

If Houston forces a Game 7, it would be played at 2:30 p.m. Sunday at the AT&T Center.

Nene's absence, lost in Game 4 with a groin injury, proved to be a much more enormous factor than San Antonio's injuries.

"Competitors are competitors", said Popovich. He had 11 points, 10 rebounds, five assists and two steals. The Houston Rockets head coach Mike D'Antoni ran with a seven-man rotation on Tuesday, but spectators can probably expect him to open it up slightly in the Game 6.

James Harden's MVP-caliber season came to a screeching halt with a no-show performance in an elimination loss to the Spurs on Thursday night.

After the game, Harden claimed he had trouble finding a "rhythm". "Probably got exhausted", D'Antoni said of the lack of pace and production. Duncan started as the low-post focal point of the offense, migrated out to the top of the key and at one point was relegated to little more than running up and down the court, grabbing rebounds and setting screens.

Failing to put Leonard on the court is a calculated gamble for the Spurs.

Murray was fantastic in Game 6.

Watch him here: he stays as the ball goes baseline, in case he can help, backs out to play free safety as the ball passes the basket, checks to see where the pass may go, cuts off the angle and deflects it, causing the turnover. Houston has to have a victory in Game 6 to keep alive their hopes of reaching the conference finals for the second time in three years.