1021 GMT January 17, 2019
“Absolutely,” Klay Thompson said about playing a memorable, statement-making Game 1, The Associated Press reported.
“We did not end the season on a high note, we kind of hobbled into the playoffs. We know how talented we are. We know how good we are. We have been here before in the postseason and know what it takes to win.”
And they still know how to win in impressive fashion on the NBA’s big stage.
Durant, Thompson and Draymond Green took charge in Game 1 of the first-round series to elevate the Warriors’ intensity at last playing without fellow All-Star and injured two-time MVP Stephen Curry, sidelined since March 23 with a sprained left knee.
Thompson found his shooting touch and scored 27 points, making 11 of 13 shots, while seven-footer JaVale McGee started in Steve Kerr’s center-by-committee approach and contributed 15 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots in 16 minutes. Green contributed 12 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.
Rudy Gay led the Spurs with 15 points off the bench as leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge was limited to 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting.
The Warriors looked unbeatable again. And that was without the do-everything Curry.
Golden State came with the kind of swarming defense it is so used to playing but hadn’t exhibited much lately as rotations were mixed and matched because of injuries and illness.
Wizards 106 Raptors 114
In Toronto, Serge Ibaka had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Delon Wright scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and the Raptors snapped a 10-game losing streak in playoff openers by beating the Washington Wizards 114-106 on Saturday.
“It’s out of the way now,” DeMar DeRozan said of the streak.
“Worry about Game 2.”
DeRozan scored 17 points, C.J. Miles and OG Anunoby each had 12 and Kyle Lowry had 11 points and nine assists for the Raptors, whose only previous victory in the opening game of a playoff series came in the second round at Philadelphia on May 6, 2001.
Toronto entered having lost an NBA-worst 10 consecutive Game 1s since, including six at home.
Raptors coach Dwane Casey said his team, the top seed in the Eastern Conference, is focused on more than Game 1.
“We’re not satisfied,” Casey said. “We’re in this for the long run.”
Toronto put its streak in the past by hitting 16 of 30 three-point attempts, a team record for a postseason game.
Miles made four from long range, while Ibaka and Wright each hit three.
“I always thought Serge was going to be the X-factor with his shooting when they double-team Kyle and DeMar,” Casey said. “His three-point shooting is huge.”