They were led by a brilliant team defensive effort, and the unparalleled offensive spark of Stephen Curry. He ripped off 38 points, 15 rebounds, and 7 assists as the Clippers were helpless to stop him. Oh yeah, he also took his rightful place atop the hierarchy of the greatest playoff shooters.
With eight threes tonight, Stephen Curry (386 career playoff threes) has passed Ray Allen (385) for most three-point field goals made in NBA playoff history.— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) April 14, 2019
Kevin Durant added a smooth 23 points with 3 thunderous blocks before being ejected for trolling a defiant Patrick Beverly.
On a night that two home teams blew Game 1’s in the Eastern Conference, the defending back-to-back champs showed the league how you’re supposed to defend home court.
The Warriors had helllllla turnovers in the first quarter. Seven to be exact. Yet they led 36-27 after 12 minutes! When they weren’t throwing the ball into the audience like excited children accidentally tossing a brand new ball over the neighbor’s fence, they were ripping apart the Clippers defense. Clippers coach Doc Rivers’ strategy appeared to be “leave Draymond Green open at all times,” and he made them pay in the first quarter.
Despite 7 turnovers, Warriors end Q1 up 36-27 on Clippers— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) April 14, 2019
- Draymond Green 13 points (5-5 FG, 2-2 3p)
-GSW 63.6pct FG, 70 pct 3p
-Bench points: LAC 18-7
-Assists: GSW 13-7
In the second quarter, Clippers guard Lou Williams decided to take matters into his own hands.
Lou Williams is going through the Warriors— Tim Kawakami (@timkawakami) April 14, 2019
Williams had 15 points and 5 assists by halftime! Montrezl Harrell was his running man, bullying the Warriors around the rim on his way to 22 points after two quarters.
But the Warriors refused to let the Clippers control the game and unleashed a Curry flurry to stretch the lead.
Steph Curry: Six first quarter assists, 14 second quarter points. Has a 20-6-6 at half. Warriors up 13. They were a +21 in his minutes.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) April 14, 2019
The Clippers exacerbated their predicament by getting into it with the refs repeatedly over what they felt were missed calls during a Warriors 14-3 run to close the half.
Doc Rivers and Lou Williams had long words with ref before leaving the court at half. Tech on Clippers bench— Marc J. Spears (@MarcJSpearsESPN) April 14, 2019
Warriors 69, Clippers 56
One of the hilarious subplots of the game was Patrick Beverly guarding Kevin Durant. They good naturedly jostled back and forth with the much smaller Beverly gamely jawing, bumping, and swiping.
Meanwhile Klay Thompson couldn’t throw a beach ball into the ocean, but supplied his usual elite defense. Of course, when you have Curry going supernova, sometimes you don’t need Thompson to score.
Steph Curry is just absolutely nuts pic.twitter.com/NsLtCmDXCN— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) April 14, 2019
By the end of the third period, Curry had 30-13-6!!!!!
END OF Q3: Warriors running away with this, up 98-79 on the Clippers. Curry has 30 points, sure, but he's also tied his playoff-career-high with 13 rebounds.— Connor Letourneau (@Con_Chron) April 14, 2019
In the fourth quarter the Warriors held their lead as Curry made history, becoming the all-time leader in three-pointers made in the playoffs.
DeMarcus Cousins fouled out in the fourth, finishing his first playoff game with 9 points on 4-of-12 shooting from the field, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 6 turnovers. Not a fantastic debut, but I’d rather have that than what Kyle Lowry did today hahahaha.
Anyways, Durant and Beverly ended up getting double ejections shortly after Durant blew by Beverly for a punishing slam dunk.
Kevin Durant and Patrick Beverley were just both ejected. KD wants smoke. pic.twitter.com/ngrCo2rsPu— DC Maryland Virginia (@DMVFollowers) April 14, 2019
The game was well decided though at that point, and the Warriors took the first step towards brooming these plucky Clips out of the postseason. Can’t have a sweep without winning G1, eh?