The Golden State Warriors fired a warning to their rivals as the National Basketball Association playoffs got under way on Saturday, routing the San Antonio Spurs 113-92 to serve notice they will not be dethroned easily despite Stephen Curry's knee injury. The Warriors did not finish the season with the league's best offensive rating (that honor belongs to the top-seeded Houston Rockets), but they averaged a league-leading 113.5 points per game due to their top-five pace of play.
"We want to make a statement in Game 2, as well", Thompson said.
"I thought it was important to re-establish our defence, one way or another, win or lose", Kerr said.
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. The Warriors themselves know how good they are.
They had played poorly coming into this first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs, had lost 10 of their past 17 games. The Warriors pushed the tempo, harassed San Antonio shooters, punished the Spurs on the glass and shot the ball efficiently.
From the opening tip, Golden State was executing smart plays. The math just doesn't work for the Spurs, and they have no answer for Durant.
Saturday's win was vintage Golden State.
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Curry has been out of the starting lineup since March 24 with a sprained MCL in his left knee, while Green, Kevin Durant, and Klay Thompson have all sat stretches with their respective ailments and injuries.
Of his decision to start Iguodala, who usually plays forward, Kerr said, "I just wanted to put our best defensive lineup on the floor from the beginning".
Golden State's depth proved too much for San Antonio. Murray has the ability to defend multiple positions but his offense is spotty and he can't guard all five guys at once.
Despite being cleared by Spurs medical staff two months ago, Leonard has continued to recover from an injury to his right quadriceps under the care of a medical team apart from the Spurs organization. Which they probably won't, judging from Game 1. Zaza Pachulia didn't even see action in the contest and Golden State still had a +21 edge on the glass.
Still, there have been signs that the members of the team seem not on the same page mentally, and it's worth wondering if simply getting everyone healthy will be enough for them to get back on track as they continue their title defense in the playoffs looking bleak. "They made shots and they executed and they did what they did".
The Spurs' inability to shoot the ball well and their lack of success on the glass helped keep Game 1 under the total but by only half a point. "We all know that". McGee brings four more inches and therefore made it tough for Aldridge, who managed only 14 points and was mainly a ghost. There have been series where we've won without Kevin, without myself, without our head coach.