The Golden State Warriors were finally able to use their brilliant playoff switch, bombarding a brave team of Los Angeles Clippers 121-104 in front of a boisterous crowd from Oakland.
They were led by a brilliant team defense effort and by Stephen Curry's offensive spark. He stole 38 points, 15 rebounds and 7 assists while the Clippers were unable to stop him. Oh yes, he has also taken his rightful place at the top of the ranking of the biggest playoff shooters.
Stephen Curry (386 playoff games) beat Ray Allen (385) to score the most three-point goals in NBA playoff history.
– PR Warriors (@WarriorsPR) April 14, 2019
Kevin Durant added 23 points scored with 3 thundering blocks before being ejected for following a defiant Patrick Beverly.
At a party in which two home teams lost the first game of the Eastern Conference, the consecutive defending champions showed the league how you were supposed to defend your pitch.
The warriors had helllllla turnovers in the first quarter. Seven to be exact. Yet they were leading 36-27 after 12 minutes! When they did not throw the ball in the audience, like excited children, accidentally throwing a new ball over the neighbor's fence, they tore up the Clippers' defense. Clippers' strategy led Doc Rivers to "Leave Draymond Green open at all times," and he charged them in the first quarter.
Despite 7 turnarounds, the Warriors finish the first quarter 36-27 on Clippers
– Draymond Green 13 points (5-5 FG, 2-2 3p)
-GSW 63.6pct FG, 70 pct 3p
– Benchmarks: BAC 18-7
-Assistants: GSW 13-7
– Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) April 14, 2019
In the second quarter, Clippers guard Lou Williams decided to take charge.
Lou Williams crosses the warriors
– Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) April 14, 2019
Williams had 15 points and 5 assists at halftime! Showzl Harrell was his runner, intimidating the Warriors before scoring 22 points after two quarters.
But the Warriors refused to let the Clippers control the game and launched a wave of Curry to stretch the lead.
Steph Curry: Six assists in the first quarter, 14 points in the second quarter. At a 20-6-6 to half. Warriors up 13. They were a +21 in his minutes.
– Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 14, 2019
The Clippers exacerbated their situation by repeatedly joining the referees to explain what they felt were missed calls during a 14-3 Warriors race to close the half.
Doc Rivers and Lou Williams had long words with ref before leaving the field halfway. Tech on Clippers Bench
– Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) April 14, 2019
Warriors 69, Clippers 56
Patrick Beverly was watching Kevin Durant. They jostled in nature with the much smaller Beverly who chews, knocks and slips.
Meanwhile, Klay Thompson could not throw a beach ball into the ocean, but he was providing his usual elite defense. Of course, when Curry goes supernova, Thompson may not need to score.
At the end of the third period, Curry had 30-13-6 !!!!!
END OF Q3: Warriors fled with this, up from 98-79 on the Clippers. Curry has 30 points, of course, but he also tied his career-high playoffs with 13 rebounds.
– Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) April 14, 2019
In the fourth quarter, the Warriors maintained their lead as Curry entered history, becoming the all-time leader in three-point playoff play.
DeMarcus Cousins made a mistake in the fourth quarter by finishing his first game in the playoffs with 9 points on 4 shots on 12 shots on the field, 9 rebounds, 4 assists and 6 turnovers. It's not a fantastic start, but I'd rather have it than what Kyle Lowry did today, hahahah.
Whatever the case may be, Durant and Beverly ended up having a double ejection shortly after Durant escaped from Beverly for a slam dunk penalty.
The game was decided at that time, and the Warriors took the first step to sweep these brave clips out of the playoffs. You can not do a sweep without winning the G1, huh?