Durant, Warriors run roughshod over Spurs
Kevin Durant helped the defending NBA champions get defensive in a hurry, finishing with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists as the Warriors returned to their old dominant selves at playoff time to beat the cold-shooting Spurs 113-92 on Saturday in Oakland, Calif.
Durant, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson took charge in Game 1 of the Western Conference firstround series to elevate the Warriors’ intensity while playing without injured two-time MVP Stephen Curry, sidelined since March 23 with a sprained left knee.
Thompson found his shot and scored 27 points, making 11 of 13 shots, while 7-foot JaVale McGee started in Steve Kerr’s center-bycommittee approach and contributed 15 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots in 16 minutes.
The Warriors recorded 32 assists on 44 field goals and held a decisive 51-30 rebounding advantage.
They also came with the kind of swarming defense they hadn’t shown much lately as rotations were mixed because of injuries and illness. Missing their four All-Stars at times, the Warriors lost seven of 10 over one stretch last month.
Rudy Gay led the Spurs with 15 points off the bench as leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge was limited to 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting. The Spurs shot 40 percent for the game.
Game 2 in the best-ofseven series is Monday night at Oracle Arena.
Ben Simmons had 17 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds in his playoff debut, and the Philadelphia 76ers romped again without Joel Embiid, beating the Miami Heat for their 17th straight win.
Embiid was a spectator in Game 1 of the first-round series because of a broken orbital bone around his left eye. The All-Star center has been hopeful he can return early in the series.
Simmons dished and dazzled in the paint and the Heat had no answer for Sixers reserves Marco Belinelli and Ersan Ilyasova. Belinelli and Ilyasova combined to hit four 3-pointers in the third quarter that helped shift the tone.