War­riors hold off Pel­i­cans in Game 1; Wiz­ards win in OT

The China Post - - SPORTS -

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.

AP

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.

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