The Golden State Warriors did what everyone expected and dominated the Houston Rockets from start to finish to open up the 2016 NBA Playoffs with a dominant 104-78 win.
Given that the Warriors are just a mere four years removed from tanking just to hold on to a lottery pick that turned into Harrison Barnes, it's sort of jarring to feel like a playoff game was not interesting...but this game felt a lot more like a formality mandated by the league to fill air time than an actual contest.
Stephen Curry finished with a game-high 24 points in just 19 minutes of play while Draymond Green had 12 points, 10 rebounds and 4 assists. Andre Iguodala came off the bench to record a game-high 7 assists. Houston never led and their 33 first half points were the lowest of any Warriors opponent in the shot clock era.
Despite the positive outcome, one concern might be the health of Curry, who had to leave the game twice after tweaking his ankle in the first half. The Warriors announced that he was available to play in the fourth, but it wasn't necessary as they entered the final period with a 22-point lead that they were able to hold on to through the final buzzer.
James Harden led the way for Houston with 17 points but had just four points and four fouls in the first half (his lone accomplishment was holding Harrison Barnes scoreless in the first half). Dwight Howard added a game-high 11 rebounds and 14 points. As we've come to expect from the Rockets these days, it was just generally uninspired basketball. Really, the most fight they showed was when Donatas Montiejunas got into an extended physical exchange with Green that almost literally led to a physical altercation that required Montiejunas' teammates to hold him back after a hard foul.
In short, this series needs to end before someone gets hurt.
The Warriors will host Game 2 on Monday at 7:30 p.m. PST on TNT and CSN Bay Area.
Click here for more on the first half.