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James Harden struggles as Spurs rout Rockets to win series

13 May 2017

The Rockets and their reliance on the three-point shot has helped them throughout these playoffs however as we have seen in previous games when their three-point shot is not falling they are unable to get the points in other means.

Aldridge more than picked up the slack in Leonard's absence.

When there was about four minutes left, large chunks of empty seats filled the arena dotted by pockets of San Antonio supporters who stood and cheered while the remaining Rockets fans sat dejected.

"Kawhi's out", coach Gregg Popovich said before the game Thursday.

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It was Harden's lowest-scoring playoff game since he was held to single digits three times in the 2012 NBA Finals, his last series with the Oklahoma City Thunder.

"I just touched it a little bit more tonight so I had a chance to figure it out", Aldridge said. Despite leading the series and standing one victory away from a showdown with the Golden State Warriors in the conference finals, the Spurs have their own set of concerns. Harden has been banged up with injuries for months now, but it's one thing to be playing hurt and another to completely disappear for an entire game, and that's what happened to Harden. During the game, which was the sixth of the Western Conference Semifinals in the NBA Playoffs, Harden shot an abysmal 2/11 from the field on his way to 10 points, 7 assists and 6 turnovers. By keeping him off the court, the worst-case scenario is that the Spurs head back home as a favorite in Game 7, and with Leonard likely healthy enough to return to the lineup.

Kawhi Leonard didn't play for the Spurs tonight, and it ultimately didn't matter too much. Behind a strong performances from LaMarcus Aldridge, Patty Mills and Jonathon Simmons, the Spurs went into halftime up 19.

Houston, which relied on its 3-point shooting to get this far, couldn't make shots from long-range going 13 of 40.

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Leonard's injury is another blow to a team already without Tony Parker, after the veteran suffered a season-ending quadriceps injury in Game 2.

What was even crazier is that Spurs rookie point guard Dejounte Murray easily outplayed the Rockets' five-time All-Star.

In fact, they were barely going to give themselves two hours to bask in their 114-75 win over the Houston Rockets in Game 6 before looking ahead. Dekker needs to play with a pass-minded point guard who can free him for high percentage looks on slips to the basket. Trevor Ariza (ah-REE'-zah) was Houston's top scorer with 20 points. You know, it's tough, especially the way we lost at home for Game 6. The Rockets showed signs of life, bringing down the gap to 20, but San Antonio's bench continued its spirited play on both ends to keep Houston at bay, 87-64, entering the fourth.

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