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Warrior Wonder: Stephen Curry dominates the Clippers to open 2019 NBA Playoffs

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Curry scored 38 points while handing out 7 assists and grabbing a career-high 15 rebounds in the Warriors’ 121-104 victory in Game 1 of the 2019 Western Conference Quarterfinals.

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Warriors played their first game of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on Saturday night, welcoming the Los Angeles Clippers to Oracle Arena. The Warriors began their title defense with an impressive 121-104 win and, as Dub Nation has come to expect over these past seasons, it was Stephen Curry who led the way.

The long-distance assault

In Game 1, Curry scored 38 points, which was the most he scored in a playoff game since scoring 40 points against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of the 2017 Western Conference Finals.

Curry was the only Warriors player to score with any kind of consistency on Saturday night. Klay Thompson (12 points on 5/14 shooting) and DeMarcus Cousins (9 points on 4/12 shooting) struggled while Kevin Durant had a good-not-great performance, scoring 23 points on 8/16 shooting. Other than a surprising offensive performance from Draymond Green, who scored 17 points while shooting 2/4 from three-point range, there wasn’t much consistent scoring to complement Curry’s game. But given how great Curry played against the Clippers, it really didn’t matter.

NBA: Playoffs-Los Angeles Clippers at Golden State Warriors
Everyone was fired up from Stephen Curry’s great performance in Game 1 against the Clippers.
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Curry did most of his damage from beyond the arc, going 8/12 from three-point range in the Game 1 win. One of those three-pointers came on this play late in the second quarter that gave the Warriors a nine-point advantage, which they would push to thirteen points by the time the first half ended.

Curry could have scored even more against the Clippers if the officiating had been a little bit better. We see that on this play in which he knocks down the three-pointer yet a pretty clear foul goes uncalled.

Curry even made a little history on Saturday night as he passed Ray Allen for the most three-pointers made by one player in NBA playoff history. Curry moved past Allen on this make from beyond the arc midway through the fourth quarter.

The Warriors needed someone to step up and pour in the points. Curry was more than ready for that task.

An (almost) truly good game

Curry filled the stat sheet with more than points against the Clippers. Curry pulled down a career-high 15 rebounds in Game 1. Even though he was considerably shorter than the other players occupying the paint, Curry was willing to battle and fight for rebounds.

We see that here as he crashes the boards after the rare free-throw miss.

Curry also handed out seven assists against the Clippers. One of those came on this pass midway through the fourth that set Durant up for a thunderous dunk.

Though Curry did fall 3 assists short of the all-important triple-double, the only way one can have a “good game” in this post-Russell Westbrook existence, it was still an impressive and well-rounded game for Curry.

Curry’s performance elicited some compliments from Clippers head coach Doc Rivers.

Curry’s own head coach, Steve Kerr, had some words of praise for his two-time MVP during this postgame press conference.

Curry’s defense, another under-appreciated aspect of his game, was also excellent in Game 1. Curry (along with Thompson) held the Clippers’ starting backcourt of Landry Shamet and Patrick Beverley to just 3 points each. Curry finished the win with a plus/minus of +27, second best on the team.

Though Lou Williams was still able to get his points, that would happen no matter what. Helping to keep Shamet and Beverley under wraps was the most important thing that Curry could do defensively against the Clippers and that’s exactly what he did.

By making sure the Warriors got off to a good start in the 2019 NBA Playoffs and showing a national-television audience just what a complete and great player he is, Stephen Curry is my pick for Warrior Wonder in the Game 1 win over the Clippers.

Warrior Wonder: Stephen Curry

Poll

Who was your Warrior Wonder for the win over the Los Angeles Clippers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Quarterfinals?

This poll is closed

  • 89%
    Stephen Curry
    (290 votes)
  • 0%
    Klay Thompson
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Kevin Durant
    (2 votes)
  • 1%
    DeMarcus Cousins
    (4 votes)
  • 2%
    Draymond Green
    (8 votes)
  • 1%
    Kevon Looney
    (6 votes)
  • 0%
    Andre Iguodala
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Shaun Livingston
    (0 votes)
  • 0%
    Quinn Cook
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Alfonzo McKinnie
    (1 vote)
  • 0%
    Andrew Bogut
    (2 votes)
  • 0%
    Jordan Bell
    (3 votes)
  • 0%
    Jonas Jerebko
    (2 votes)
325 votes total Vote Now