Warriors hold off Pelicans in Game 1; Wizards win in OT
Stephen Curry scored 34 points and the Golden State Warriors went up big before holding off the New Orleans Pelicans 106-99 in Game 1 of their first- round playoff series on Saturday.
In the East, Paul Pierce led the Washington Wizards over the Toronto Raptors 93-86 in overtime in Game 1 of their series.
Klay Thompson added 21 points, and Draymond Green and Australian center Andrew Bogut dominated down low as the Warriors looked every bit like the NBA’s top seed — at least for three quarters.
They smothered Anthony Davis and the Pelicans with the league’s best defense, leading by 15 after the first quarter, 18 at the half and 25 late in the third.
Curry finished 13 of 25 shooting, though he was just 4 of 13 from 3-point range. He also had five assists and four rebounds.
“I was locked in and focused the whole night,” he said. “In those situations, you want to get the crowd back into it. There’s a weird kind of tension, especially in the second half when they made a couple runs. But in the playoffs, you have to expect anything. And whenever you’re on the floor, just try to make an impact.”
The Pelicans pulled within four in the final minute behind Davis, who scored 20 of his 35 points in the final quarter, to make the contest seem closer than it really was.
Green finished with 15 points, 12 rebounds and seven assists, while Bogut had 12 points, 14 rebounds and five assists
In Toronto, Pierce scored five of his 20 points in overtime, and Nene had 12 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Wizards.
Pierce hit a 3- pointer, his fourth of the game, to begin the extra session, further tormenting a Raptors team he eliminated with Brooklyn in last year’s playoffs, then derided this week by saying, “I don’t feel they have the ‘It’ that makes you worried,” in an interview with ESPN.
Pierce was badgered by taunts from a vocal sellout crowd in Toronto, and drew the ire of Toronto’s general manager. Masai Ujiri, who was fined US$25,000 (NT$776,229) after he used a profanity about Brooklyn at the start of last year’s series, used another profanity in a pregame speech to thousands of fans watching on a big screen outside the arena. This time, Ujiri’s off- color comment referred to Pierce’s recent “It” remark.
NBA Commissioner Adam Silver, who attended the game, told Canadian broadcaster TSN that Ujiri’s comments were “not appropriate.”
Amir Johnson scored 18 points and DeMar DeRozan had 15 points and 11 rebounds for the Raptors, who have yet to win the opening game of a firstround series in seven postseason appearances.
Houston Rockets’ Dwight Howard #12 scores over Dallas Mavericks’ Amar’e Stoudemire #1 during the first half in Game 1 in the first round of the NBA basketball playoffs on Saturday, April 18.