Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - Durant steers Warriors past Spurs, Sixers advance



Durant steers Warriors past Spurs, Sixers advance

Kevin Durant (right) of the Golden State Warriors high fives teammate Draymond Green in the final minutes of Game 5 of Round 1 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena on April 24, 2018 in Oakland, California. AFP
Kevin Durant (right) of the Golden State Warriors high fives teammate Draymond Green in the final minutes of Game 5 of Round 1 of the 2018 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena on April 24, 2018 in Oakland, California. AFP

Durant steers Warriors past Spurs, Sixers advance

Kevin Durant scored 25 points as the Golden State Warriors powered into the Western Conference playoff semifinals with a 4-1 series victory over the San Antonio Spurs on Tuesday.

The reigning NBA champions, jolted by the Spurs in Game 4 on Sunday, booked their place in the next round with a nervy 99-91 win in front of the home fans at the Oracle Arena.

The Warriors will now face the New Orleans Pelicans for a place in the conference finals.

However, Golden State were given a scare after a late fourth quarter rally from San Antonio that threatened to take the best-of-seven series to a sixth game.

The Spurs chipped away at a double-digit Golden State lead to close to 93-91 with 57 seconds left on the clock.

But Durant delivered when it mattered with a superb fadeaway jump shot and two free throws to take Golden State clear again as the clock ticked down.

‘Big-time fight’

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said the Spurs’ battling performance bore the hallmark of counterpart Gregg Popovich, who again was missing from the San Antonio bench following the death of his wife from a long illness last week.

“That was a big-time fight. We’re lucky to get out of here,” Kerr said.

“They’re a championship organisation and they’ve been doing this for a long time. They’re a reflection of their coach.”

Golden State had edged into a 22-20 first quarter lead before stretching away in the second quarter to go into the half-time break 49-38 ahead.

A late flurry in the third quarter, including a Durant 3-pointer and a pullup jump shot from Shaun Livingston gave the Warriors a 79-65 lead heading into the final quarter.

With the Warriors still without the injured Stephen Curry, it was left to Klay Thompson and Durant to carry the offence.

Durant finished with six rebounds and five assists, while Thompson had 24 points. Draymond Green also contributed 17 points and 19 rebounds.

LaMarcus Aldridge led the scoring for San Antonio with 30 points, while Patty Mills had 18. Veteran Manu Ginobili scored 10 off the bench.

Sixers advance

In the Eastern Conference on Tuesday, the Philadelphia 76ers wrapped up a 4-1 series win over Miami to progress following a 104-91 victory.

JJ Redick scored 27 points and Joel Embiid weighed in with 19 as the Sixers set up a second round meeting against either Boston or Milwaukee.

A fiercely contested duel at Philadelphia’s Wells Fargo Center was effectively settled in the third quarter, when the Sixers pulled clear to take a decisive lead.

Prior to that there had been little to separate the two sides, with Miami holding the hosts 46-46 at half-time.

But the Sixers surged into a 66-54 lead after Robert Covington’s 3-pointer with 6:11 remaining in the third period.

It was the latest evidence of a remarkable turnaround at the Sixers, who just two years ago had the worst record in the NBA, with just 10 wins against 72 defeats.

Sixers coach Brett Brown said the team was reaping the benefit of a long-term rebuilding strategy.

“I was hired in 2013 and I sat with a few of the owners and we talked about the vision and what we hoped to build,” Brown said.

“And through rough times, through adversity, we didn’t blink. We stayed strong in what we were trying to do. And we’ve got more to do.

“We’ve got more to give. We’re excited for sure.”

Boston take lead

Meanwhile, Boston edged into a 3-2 series lead after beating Milwaukee 92-87.

Al Horford scored 22 points, 14 rebounds and three assists to lead the scoring for Boston.

Khris Middleton led the scoring for the Bucks with 23 points, while Giannis Antetokounmpo had 16 points, 10 rebounds and nine assists. Jabari Parker had 17 points and eight rebounds.

Game 6 takes place in Milwaukee on Thursday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Massive stingrays may live in Mekong’s deep pools

    US scientists have suggested that unexplored deep pools in the Mekong River in an area of Stung Treng could potentially be home to significant populations of giant freshwater stingrays, one of the world’s largest freshwater fish species. This comes as a fisherman hooked a 180

  • CCC team off on US business trip

    The Kingdom’s leading economists and private sector representatives have called on the US to renew its tax preferential status for Cambodian exports, as a Cambodia Chamber of Commerce (CCC) delegation departed for a weeklong business visit to the US, where they will meet with

  • PM takes time to meet, greet Cambodians living in the US

    After landing in the US ahead of the ASEAN-US Special Summit, Prime Minister Hun Sen was received by over 1,000 Cambodian-Americans including political analysts who welcomed him with greetings, fist bumps and selfies. Hun Sen also met with analyst Mak Hoeun, who had allegedly spoken ill

  • Khmer cinema classics back on big screen for free at WB Arena’s outdoor movies series

    On a recent Saturday evening at WB Arena, Bunsong was enjoying a tasty BBQ meal with his family after work on the long tables that had been arranged out in front of the restaurant as they watched a Khmer action movie on a big outdoor

  • PM heads to Washington for ASEAN-US special summit

    Regional and international issues and how to bring the ASEAN-US partnership to another level will be discussed at length as Prime Minister Hun Sen and his ministers arrive in Washington, DC, for a special summit on May 12-13. During the trip, Hun Sen and ASEAN

  • National Assembly refutes EU resolution

    The National Assembly (NA) has hit back at a European Parliament resolution condemning the political and human rights situation in Cambodia, calling it another display of the Parliament’s “double standards”. Key points of the resolution include a warning that the Parliament could exclude the