War­riors Rout Spurs; Rap­tors, Six­ers Win

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NEW YORK (AFP) - The Golden State War­riors fired a warn­ing to their ri­vals as the NBA play­offs got under way on Satur­day, rout­ing the San An­to­nio Spurs 113-92 to serve no­tice they will not be de­throned eas­ily de­spite Stephen Curry’s knee in­jury.

Klay Thomp­son scored a game-high 27 points on 11-of-13 shoot­ing, in­clud­ing 5-of-6 from 3-point range, and Kevin Du­rant added 24 points, eight re­bounds and seven as­sists to power Golden State.

“We played well. We played hard. We need to do even bet­ter next time,” Du­rant said be­fore prais­ing Thomp­son’s long-range hero­ics.

“Klay knocked down shots. He was re­ally good. He was pen­e­trat­ing as well,” Du­rant said. “We won’t al­ways make shots at that rate but we need to play good de­fense like that as well.”

In Satur­day’s other games, Eastern Con­fer­ence top seed Toronto out­lasted Wash­ing­ton 114-106 while the Philadel­phia 76ers trounced the Mi­ami Heat 130-103.

New Or­leans dug deep to de­feat Port­land 97-95 in the late West­ern Con­fer­ence game.

Ear­lier, the host War­riors up­dated star guard Curry’s left knee sprain be­fore play­ing, say­ing he was mak­ing progress and will be re-eval­u­ated next Satur­day.

Curry, who missed Golden State’s last 10 reg­u­lar-sea­son con­tests af­ter the March 23 set­back, will in­ten­sify his re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion work in the next few days with more run­ning and lat­eral move­ment, the team said in a state­ment.

Curry av­er­aged 26.4 points, 6.1 as­sists and 5.1 re­bounds for the War­riors, who have played with­out sev­eral top play­ers dur­ing the sea­son due to in­juries.

De­spite the set­backs, Golden State won 58 games and are solid con­tenders for a third ti­tle in four sea­sons and fourth con­sec­u­tive trip to the NBA Fi­nals.

“We’re a cham­pi­onship ball club. We know what it takes this time of year in or­der to win,” said War­riors for­ward Dray­mond Green. “We’re primed for this. A lot of peo­ple have tended to for­get what we’re ca­pa­ble of. But we know, and we in­tend to show that.”

The War­riors strug­gled down the stretch of the reg­u­lar sea­son and fin­ished with only the third-best record in the NBA be­hind West­ern Con­fer­ence leader Hous­ton and Eastern Con­fer­ence pace-set­ter Toronto.

“Ev­ery­body kept our in­di­vid­ual games on point,” Du­rant said. “At the end of the sea­son, our minds weren’t on it. They were on the play­offs.

JaVale McGee scored 15 points and played ag­gres­sive de­fense while Green had 12 points, 11 as­sists and eight re­bounds.

Re­serve Rudy Gay led the Spurs with 15 points while LaMar­cus Aldridge and Bryn Forbes each added 14 for San An­to­nio. At Philadel­phia, the 76ers over­came a spir­ited first half dis­play from Mi­ami be­fore stamp­ing their class on their se­ries opener with a dev­as­tat­ing sec­ond half dis­play.

Aus­tralian-born rookie Ben Sim­mons fin­ished with 17 points, 14 as­sists and nine re­bounds while J.J. Redick led the scor­ing with 28 points. Mi­ami led 60-56 at half-time but were un­able to re­spond to a sec­ond-half on­slaught from the in-form 76ers, who have now won 17 games straight.

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