Published: Sun, April 15, 2018
Sport | By Wilson Duncan

Warriors shut down Spurs in Game 1 of first-round playoff series

Warriors shut down Spurs in Game 1 of first-round playoff series

That's what a 113-92 wipeout Game 1 win at Oracle Arena accomplished, if nothing else. After Saturday's win, he called Golden State's defense in the past month 'subpar'. The Warriors shed the disinterested, coasting skin they had worn for weeks and came out playing with the passion - and playing with the flair, having fun - we have come to expect from them. But Golden State was already locked into the second seed, and finishing the season strong wasn't necessarily a priority. McGee was a huge spark, contributing nine points and three rebounds in the first quarter, and 15 points on the day.

The explanations behind the far-less-than-stellar play all season (which still resulted in 58 wins, third-best in the NBA) were freakish and ever-changing: the Warriors were both exhausted and conserving energy, confident and yet concerned.

The Warriors spread the floor, ratcheted up their defensive intensity, dived for loose balls and took a 23-point lead into the fourth quarter.

Now, Durant, Thompson and Draymond Green are all back healthy, and while the Warriors aren't almost as unsafe without Curry, they are still nevertheless risky. The Warriors are just vastly more athletic and it allows them to create matchups and opportunities that work for them.

Kerr always said his team would be ready when these playoffs came around. The Warriors pushed the tempo, harassed San Antonio shooters, punished the Spurs on the glass and shot the ball efficiently.

San Antonio allowed the fewest points in the National Basketball Association this season (99.8 per game) and had held Golden State to a season-low 75 in the clubs' most recent meeting March 19 in San Antonio.

Warrior star Kevin Durant found himself in a bit of a disconnect with his head coach after Thursday's game against the Indiana Pacers. A lot of people have forgotten what we're capable of.

Klay Thompson led all scorers with 27 on 11-13 shooting, including 5-6 from beyond the arc. Same with Kevin. We have won games without myself.

"We want to make a statement in Game 2, as well", Thompson said.

"To get a win here, we've got to overachieve", San Antonio guard Manu Ginobili said.

Curry said earlier this week that he can see the improvement. He started forward Andre Iguodala over point guard Quinn Cook so the Warriors could easily switch screens to mitigate the success of San Antonio's free-flowing offense.

"We know what it takes this time of year in order to win", Draymond Green said Saturday.

76ers 130, Heat 103 • Ben Simmons had 17 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds in his playoff debut, and the host Philadelphia 76ers romped again without injured Joel Embiid, beating the Miami for their 17th straight win.

The absence of each team's arguably best offensive weapon for likely the entire series applies additional pressure onto other players.

When a reporter finally gets to ask a question like, "Were you surprised by the Warriors' starting lineup and was the tone of the game set from the beginning?" he compliments the reporter on the question and gives a good answer.

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