The Spurs may feel they've lucked into an easier first-round matchup, but that's betting heavy on the Warriors not caring enough to take the Spurs seriously, and Curry's absence being too much to overcome. Even better, he is an elite three-point shooter who operates well off the ball, allowing the Warriors to use him in their system as a floor-spacer and cutter who can run some pick-and-roll in a pinch.
Kerr said he made a decision to go with Iguodala over Quinn Cook, who started 16 of the Warriors' final 17 regular-season games in Stephen Curry's absence, in order to put his best defensive lineup on the court. The Spurs simply don't have the weapons to contend offensively and their usually stingy defense was exploited by the quickness and versatility of the Golden State rotation players. That was the "championship-level" effort the Warriors failed to display over the last month without Curry in the lineup. Golden State's emotional leader, Draymond Green (12 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds) set the tone for a defensive performance that helped exorcise the memory of Tuesday's 40-point loss to Utah in the regular-season finale.
"We were not as ready to face a team like them", said Ginobili.
Klay Thompson made 11 of 13 field goals, including 5-of-6 from beyond the 3-point arc, to lead all scorers with 27 points.
Durant had 11 points in the first quarter and surprise starter JaVale McGee gave Golden State an unexpected lift with nine points, helping the Warriors, the second seed in the Western Conference, take command from the start en route to as many as an 18-point lead in the first half.More news: Mourinho demands consistency from Pogba
More news: Salah scores goal number 40 in Liverpool's 3-0 win against Bournemouth
More news: Netanyahu declares Israel's 'full support' for US-led Syrian strike
So, the Warriors do not have a definitive center to counter the Spurs' size.
The Spurs never seemed to have a chance in their 113-92 loss to the Warriors in Game 1 of their National Basketball Association playoff series, and coach Gregg Popovich used a exhausted but apt cliche to describe the meltdown. "We just want to be able to challenge those shots, knowing that he's going to make a lot of them, but I think JaVale was able to challenge some of them and make it hard". We've won games without myself. "Today we anxious about the present, came out with a good game plan and executed it". "I thought we were prepared, physically and mentally, but I was mistaken". A lot of people have forgotten what we're capable of.
"We did not end the season on a high note", Thompson said. With the second-best record in the West secured, and first place conceded to Houston, weren't they just tapping their toes until the first round? Would we see "the Warriors" in their full, domineering glory now that the "real season" was starting?
76ers 130, Heat 103 • Ben Simmons had 17 points, 14 assists and nine rebounds in his playoff debut, and the host Philadelphia 76ers romped again without injured Joel Embiid, beating the Miami for their 17th straight win.