Oakland, CA – Tim Duncan and the San Antonio Spurs are headed back to the Western Conference finals for the second straight season and for the eighth time in the past 15 years.
Duncan scored a team-high 19 points in Game 6 and the San Antonio Spurs eliminated the Golden State Warriors with a 94-82 victory in another tight showdown at Oracle Arena.
The Spurs closed out the series despite off-shooting nights from Tony Parker and Manu Ginobili, who made up for it by combining for 19 assists. Parker was a woeful 3-of-16 from the field for 13 points, though he made two big 3- pointers down the stretch, and Ginobili had five points on 1-of-6 shooting.
Kawhi Leonard picked up the slack with 16 points and 10 rebounds, while Tiago Splitter and Danny Green chipped in 14 and 11 points, respectively.
San Antonio will meet the Memphis Grizzlies in the next round. The teams split the regular season series with each winning twice on their home floor, and the Grizzlies famously knocked out the Spurs in the first round as a No. 8 seed two years ago.
"They're gritty, talented and it will be a heck of a challenge," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said of the Grizzlies, who advanced through the top- seeded Oklahoma City Thunder in the other conference semis.
Golden State's Harrison Barnes did not play in the fourth quarter. The rookie, who had totaled 51 points the previous two games, took a scary fall late in the first half and needed six stitches to close up a gash above his left eye. He came back briefly in the third quarter, but headaches kept him from continuing.
Stephen Curry paced Golden State with 22 points on 10-of-25 shooting but only netted six points in the second half. Jarrett Jack followed with 15 for the sixth-seeded Warriors, who gave the second-seeded Spurs everything they could handle but ultimately fell short after shooting 39 percent from the field Thursday.
"I could not be prouder of any group," Warriors head coach Mark Jackson said of his bunch. "I could go on and win championships and I will not be prouder. ... It's been an incredible ride."
Curry's only bucket in the fourth quarter -- a pull-up jumper over Duncan from the top of they key -- had the Warriors within 77-75 with under five minutes to play.
Curry had two chances to tie the game following a Duncan turnover but drew iron each time, and the Spurs scored 11 of the next 15 points to put things away. Parker started the run with a corner 3-pointer, Leonard hit from the same spot a little later off a feed from Ginobili, and Parker drilled a dagger from the right wing for an 88-79 Spurs lead with 1:15 remaining.
Despite the game being out of reach, the home crowd cheered on the Warriors all the way to the locker room.
A back-and-forth first quarter ended with the Spurs clinging to a 21-19 lead they never relinquished.
Splitter scored six points on a 10-0 run early in the second that turned a tie game into a 33-23 Spurs advantage, and the visitors went into the break ahead by a 47-40 margin despite Curry's 16-point first half.
After shooting 50 percent from the field in the first two quarters, San Antonio made just 30 percent (6-of-20) in the third. And yet, the Spurs actually extended their cushion.
Golden State went nearly eight minutes with just one field goal and trailed by as many as 13 before pulling within 66-59 entering the fourth.
Duncan became the seventh player in NBA history to play 200 playoff games ... The Spurs had 27 assists on 33 field goals ... Klay Thompson scored 10 points for the Warriors. He netted 41 over the final four games of the series after netting 34 in a Game 2 victory ... Barnes scored nine points ... The Spurs made 45 percent of their shots ... The Warriors have not won two series in the same playoffs since winning the NBA title in 1975.