War­riors dis­man­tle Spurs in se­ries opener

Stabroek News Sunday - - SPORT -

(Reuters) Klay Thomp­son scored a game-high 27 points and Kevin Du­rant chipped in with 24 yes­ter­day af­ter­noon as the Golden State War­riors opened de­fense of their NBA ti­tle with a 11392 vic­tory over the San An­to­nio Spurs in Game 1 of their best-of-seven firstround West­ern Con­fer­ence se­ries in Oak­land, Calif.

Game 2 is set for to­mor­row night, also in Oak­land.

Du­rant had 11 points in the first quar­ter and sur­prise starter JaVale McGee gave Golden State an un­ex­pected lift with nine points, help­ing the War­riors, the sec­ond seed in the West­ern Con­fer­ence, take com­mand from the start en route to as many as an 18-point lead in the first half.

Down 57-41 at half­time, the Spurs used two hoops by Rudy Gay early in the third pe­riod to get within 59-50. But Thomp­son hit a mo­men­tum-killing 3-pointer and the Golden State de­fense held San An­to­nio to one field goal over the next 5 1/2 min­utes to re-es­tab­lish con­trol at 73-55.

Thomp­son (11-for-13) and Du­rant (9-for-17) com­bined to hit 20 of their 30 shots for the War­riors, who burned the Spurs’ de­fense for 54.3 per­cent shoot­ing.

San An­to­nio al­lowed the fewest points in the NBA this sea­son (99.8 per game) and had held Golden State to a sea­son­low 75 in the clubs’ most re­cent meet­ing March 19 in San An­to­nio.

Gay had 15 points, while LaMar­cus Aldridge and Bryn Forbes added 14 apiece for the Spurs, who fell into the No. 7 seed when they lost their reg­u­lar-sea­son fi­nale at New Or­leans to com­plete a 4735 reg­u­lar sea­son.

Aldridge was ha­rassed into 5-for-12 shoot­ing.

Thomp­son dropped in five of his six 3-point at­tempts as Golden State, which strug­gled of­fen­sively down the stretch of the reg­u­lar sea­son with Stephen Curry nurs­ing a knee in­jury, shot 10-for-22 (45.5 per­cent) from be­yond the arc.

McGee fin­ished with 15 points and Dray­mond Green recorded a 12-point, 11-re­bound dou­ble-dou­ble for the War­riors, who swept the Spurs 4-0 in the West­ern fi­nals last May en route to a 16-1 run to their sec­ond cham­pi­onship in three years.

Green’s 11 re­bounds were a game-high. He shared game-high as­sist hon­ors with Du­rant with eight.

The Spurs shot just 40 per­cent from the field.

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