Dan­ger­ous duo

War­riors dev­as­tat­ing, D-Wade stuns Six­ers

Bangkok Post - - SPORTS -

Du­rant, Thomp­son steer War­riors to 2-0 se­ries lead on Spurs

LOS AN­GE­LES: Kevin Du­rant and Klay Thomp­son handed San An­to­nio a painful shoot­ing les­son as Golden State took a grip on their West­ern Con­fer­ence play-off duel on Mon­day.

Du­rant and Thomp­son both weighed in with 30-point games as the War­riors pow­ered to a 116-101 win that puts the NBA cham­pi­ons 2-0 up in their best-of­seven se­ries.

The War­riors — still miss­ing the in­jured tal­is­man Stephen Curry — out­classed a phys­i­cal San An­to­nio from three-point range in a dev­as­tat­ing dis­play of scor­ing.

Golden State made 15 of 31 at­tempts from three-point range, con­trast­ing sharply with San An­to­nio, who could only muster four from 28 at­tempts.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich pin­pointed his team’s fail­ure to threaten from dis­tance as the prin­ci­pal fac­tor in the loss.

“The ball has to go in the bas­ket,” Popovich said. “That’s the dif­fer­ence in the ball game. They shot 50 per­cent of threes; we made 14 per­cent, four of 28 or some­thing. That’s tough to over­come.

“You’ve got to make shots. And it’s been like that the en­tire year on the road for us, for what­ever rea­son. And it re­ally showed up tonight. That made it very dif­fi­cult.”

San An­to­nio started strongly, with LaMar­cus Aldridge — who fin­ished with 34 points — driv­ing the Spurs for­ward as they shaded the first pe­riod 25-23.

The vis­i­tors con­tin­ued to rally in the sec­ond quar­ter and had moved into a 53-47 at half-time.

But Golden State’s re­lent­less pres­sure and of­fen­sive va­ri­ety in­evitably be­gan to tell in the sec­ond half.

Du­rant fin­ished with 32 points, six re­bounds and six as­sists while Thomp­son had 31 points with five as­sists.

“They took it to us first half,” War­riors coach Steve Kerr said.

“But in the sec­ond half we matched that ef­fort level and phys­i­cal­ity and were able to get that up­per hand.”

The War­riors now head to San An­to­nio for game three to­mor­row.

In the Eastern Con­fer­ence, Dwyane Wade pro­duced a vin­tage per­for­mance as the Mi­ami Heat ended ended Philadel­phia’s 17-game win­ning streak to level their se­ries 1-1.

Wade, 36, scored 28 points in 25 min­utes as Mi­ami stunned the 76ers’ home crowd into si­lence with a 113-103 vic­tory.

It was a su­perb dis­play from Wade, a three-time NBA cham­pion who started this sea­son with Cleve­land be­fore re­join­ing Mi­ami in Fe­bru­ary be­fore the trade dead­line.

Wade’s ex­pe­ri­ence proved cru­cial through­out, in­spir­ing a first-half fight­back to wipe out the 76ers’ early lead be­fore shep­herd­ing Mi­ami to the win in a nervy fi­nale. Wade, who also had seven re­bounds and three as­sists, was backed by 20 points from Go­ran Dragic and 18 points from James John­son.

“I just came in with an ag­gres­sive ap­proach,” Wade said af­ter­wards. “I told my­self that what­ever min­utes I was go­ing to play, I was go­ing to do it ag­gres­sively.

“Once the balls start fall­ing for you then it just goes from there.

“I love the stage. I play the game for these mo­ments. To be able to come through for your team when they need you feels good.”

Philadel­phia mean­while were left re­flect­ing on their first loss since early March, jolt­ing their mo­men­tum as the se­ries heads to Mi­ami for game three to­mor­row.

Ben Sim­mons led the Philadel­phia scor­ing with 24 points, with Dario Saric adding 23 and Marco Be­linelli 16.

Six­ers coach Brett Brown later was forced to re­spond to a pro­fane so­cial me­dia post from in­jured star Joel Em­biid, who wrote of his frus­tra­tion at be­ing “ba­bied” af­ter watch­ing the de­feat from the side­lines.

“He just wants to play bas­ket­ball, to be with his team, to play in front of the fans,” Brown said. “When he’s not able to do that he gets frus­trated and I re­spect his frus­tra­tion.”


The War­riors’ Kevin Du­rant, right, lays up a shot over the Spurs’ De­jounte Mur­ray in Oak­land.

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