The Golden State Warriors stormed past the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of their NBA playoff matchup, 113-92, in a game that never felt particularly close. The Spurs were without Kawhi Leonard as they have been for most of the season, and it showed. The Warriors won’t get Steph Curry back likely until the second round, but the rest of their stars have made it clear that they can live without him for now.
JaVale McGee scored 10 of his 15 points in the first half, with most of that production coming in the opening quarter. Head coach Steve Kerr made a bizarre decision to start McGee along with Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala, though that lineup had played 0 minutes together in their careers. It worked anyway.
Going with a long-armed lineup, the Spurs had trouble finding space to launch from deep. Even worse for them, Golden State trapped LaMarcus Aldridge on the catch, and flustered his offensive routine. He had just 14 points on 5-of-12 shooting. The team struggled to find answers without Leonard on the floor.
Meanwhile, Golden State rolled. Kevin Durant was the playmaker the Warriors needed without Curry on the floor. He had 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists. Thompson was on fire all game, shooting 11-of-13 from the floor for 27 points. Green had 12 points, eight rebounds and 11 assists as well.
For San Antonio to recover in Game 2, it’ll need to find ways to counter Kevon Looney’s, McGee’s and Green’s swarming defense on their offensive star, Aldridge. There aren’t enough pieces to get the job done without him at 110 percent.
Below are the highlights from today’s game:
Warriors 113, Spurs 92, FINAL
This was ugly.
Warriors 100, Spurs 75, 7:28 4Q
Warriors 86, Spurs 63, End of 3Q
Blowout city in Golden State. Derrick White is in for the Spurs, so that’s what Gregg Popovich thinks about his rotation players at this point. Twelve minutes of pain left for Kawhi-less Spurs fans.
Warriors 76, Spurs 57, 3:25 3Q
Draymond Green passed off an open layup for a semi-contested Klay Thompson three-point shot that dropped. That’s how this one is going.
Warriors 62, Spurs 50, 9:51 3Q
Dejounte Murray just picked up his fourth foul and it feels as if we’re just minutes away from a breakout Warriors run.
Warriors 57, Spurs 41, HALFTIME
Kevin Durant has 16 points, six rebounds and five assists at the half, as Golden State is rolling past San Antonio. Unless the Spurs can find ways to help Aldridge shake free of traps, this one looks over.
Warriors 52, Spurs 36, 2:18 2Q
Folks. The Spurs need Kawhi Leonard BADLY. The Warriors double-team is freaking LaMarcus Aldridge out, and they need offensive help.
Warriors 37, Spurs 26, 8:09 2Q
Rudy Gay isn’t letting this game slip away. He has eight points, and the Spurs are sorta inching their way back.
Warriors 28, Spurs, 17, End of 1Q
Manu Ginobili had a steal and buzzer-beating three to cap an ugly opening 12 minutes for San Antonio.
Warriors 20, Spurs 11, 3:07 1Q
PLAYOFF JAVALE IS LIVE AND WELL BLOCKING THE CRAP OUT OF LAMARCUS ALDRIDGE HAHAHA.
Warriors 14, Spurs, 8 5:44 1Q
Javale McGee is dominating the floor, just as we all expected. He’s got eight points and two rebounds, and he’s heading to the line now.
Warriors 8, Spurs 4, 8:31 1Q
Steve Kerr rolled out Andre Iguodala as the point guard alongside Klay Thompson, Draymond Green, Kevin Durant and JaVale McGee to start. It’s working as JaVale has had two easy buckets in the paint.