Those coaches have met five times in the postseason, with D’Antoni’s teams being eliminated each time, including the Spurs knocking out the Rockets in six games during last season’s West semifinals despite Leonard’s absence in the sixth and deciding game of the series.
Although long out of the playoff picture, Arizona rebounded from a 5-2 loss at Colorado the previous night and improved to 10-3-2 in its last games. Vancouver lost its third straight and is 4-10-3 in its last 17.
It’s frustrating, Canucks forward Bo Horvat said. At the same time we need to take the positives out of this one. I thought we did battle hard until the end. I think we came on a little stronger there in the second half, we just have to capitalize on our chances instead.
After mostly uneventful play through one period and most of the second, the Coyotes finally broke through on a power play.
A little rest, a little making sure he’s ready for the next game, D’Antoni said.
The Rockets went 4-3 in a stretch in which Harden was sidelined by a hamstring strain earlier this season.
While Harden is expected back Monday, the Spurs will be without some of their stars for the Western Conference showdown.
The team announced Sunday that LaMarcus Aldridge (right knee soreness), Manu Ginobili (rest) and Kawhi Leonard (return from injury management) will sit out. Leonard has played in just nine games this season but could return as early as Thursday, according to ESPN’s Lisa Salters.
The All-Star was quick to point out that despite already clinching a playoff berth, this team has many more goals ahead.
Kent Bazemore and Tyreke Evans are the notables who fall off the list. Bazemore (bone bruise in knee) has been ruled out for the season, while Evans (ribs) has missed 10 games in a row and is looking like a shutdown candidate.
Kerr, the Golden State Warriors coach who has been outspoken on many social justice issues, drew a big crowd and a standing ovation before sharing how his life was affected by gun violence more than three decades ago when his father was shot dead in a terrorist attack.