The Warriors last lost on April 10, when the desperate Utah Jazz beat Golden State by six points in the final week of the NBA regular season. Since then, they have swept their way through three consecutive series, only ever running into occasional trouble and spending most of their time protecting huge leads. Their margins of victory have been imposing, as they beat the Blazers, Jazz, and Spurs by 18, 14.5, and 16 points per game respectively. The Warriors have lost one game in the last 73 days. Simply put, this has been one of the most dominant playoff runs in decades, made less notable by the Cavs’ near-equal detonation of the Eastern Conference.
Tonight, the Spurs played yet another game without Kawhi Leonard and suffered through yet another loss. Game 4 never got too out of hand, and San Antonio managed to push their way back into it at times, but Golden State’s firepower is simply too much to overcome, and even without Klay Thompson and their starting center, it never felt like the Spurs even had a chance tonight. When they’d mount the odd run and cut the lead to single digits, inevitably Kevin Durant or Steph Curry would wake up, hit a shot or three, swell the lead back to 20, and chill for a bit.
Durant went for 29 points on just 13 shots, hitting every mid-range he took. Steph Curry had 36 and he was incisive off the pick-and-roll tonight, clearly unintimidated by anyone the Spurs could throw on him. With Leonard, the Spurs got Golden State off their rhythm and found a way to press their advantages. Without him, they were hopeless.