It's official, one half of the predictable NBA Finals matchup is set, as the Golden State Warriors enter unblemished. Golden State completed their third straight sweep this postseason with a 129-115 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Monday night, advancing to their third straight Finals. The win makes them the first team to start the playoffs 12-0, as they led by as many as 22 points in San Antonio. Kevin Durant had a double-double of 29 points and 12 rebounds, while Steph Curry led the way with 36 points in the series-clinching victory. The Spurs were playing without Kawhi Leonard, Tony Parker, and David Lee again, and were led by Kyle Anderson's 20 points in the loss. The one bright spot for San Antonio was the attention Manu Ginobili got in what could be his final game. Ginobili received a standing ovation when he exited the game for good, and finished with 15 points in 32 minutes. Draymond Green helped take advantage of the short-handed Spurs with an all-around game of 16 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists on the night. Golden State as a team shot 56 percent, including 14-for-39 from three-point range, and await the winner of the Eastern Conference Finals. The Cleveland Cavaliers lead the Boston Celtics 2-1 in that one, as the series continues in Cleveland on Tuesday night.
Predators Advance to First Stanley Cup Finals
The Nashville Predators have been the most impressive team in the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season, so it only makes sense that they will appear in their first ever Stanley Cup Finals. Colton Sissons completed the hat trick and was credited with the game-winner with 6:00 left in the third period, as the Predators doubled up the Anaheim Ducks, 6-3, to take the Western Conference Finals, 4-2. It is their first Stanley Cup Finals appearance in their 19-year history, which doesn't even include a division title. They achieved this feat despite losing Mike Fisher and Ryan Johansen to injuries, as head coach Peter Laviolette becomes the fourth coach to reach the Finals with three separate teams. The Ducks trailed by two in the second and was hoping to rally from a multi-goal deficit for the fifth time this postseason when Cam Fowler tied the game at 8:52 of the third period. Although, Austin Watson scored twice, including an empty-netter, and Pekka Rinne made 38 saves to improve to 12-4 this postseason with the win. Filip Forsberg also had an empty-net goal, as Nashville lit up Jonathan Bernier, who was in first career playoff start. The Ducks were without John Gibson due to at hamstring injury, as they were eliminated by a lower seed for a fifth straight season, and in the Conference Finals for the second time in three years. Nashville will play either Pittsburgh or Ottawa in Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals next Monday night.
Astros Complete One-Hit Shutout of Tigers
The Houston Astros are on pace to break the combined strikeout record this season and got plenty of them Monday night, as they completed a one-hit, 1-0 shutout of the Detroit Tigers. Brad Peacock got the spot start for the injured Dallas Keuchel, and struck out eight in 4.1 innings to get the pitching staff started. He did surrender the only hit in a Mikie Mahtook double in the third in what was his first start since last September. Three other relievers came in to shut the game down, with Chris Devenski improving to 3-2 with the win. He earned that by going 2.2 innings of scoreless baseball. Will Harris pitched a shutout eighth and Ken Giles got his 12th save by striking out two in the ninth. Houston had to play around with their staff after placing Keuchel on the 10-day DL with a pinched nerve in his neck. The ace is only expected to miss this one start. Jose Altuve provided the only source of offense with an RBI double in the first, helping Houston overcome a weekend series sweep against the Cleveland Indians. Michael Fulmer fell to 5-2 with his first loss since April 18th , getting no run support from the Tiger offense, who struck out a season-high 14 times on the night. These two teams continue this series in Houston on Tuesday night.