Klay Thompson scored 27 points and Kevin Durant added 24 as the Golden State Warriors never trailed in a 113-92 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of their first-round National Basketball Association playoff series at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
Golden State Warriors' Kevin Durant (35) celebrates a score with Draymond Green, left, as San Antonio Spurs' Rudy Gay (22) watches. Intensified rehab work will include "more running and lateral movement", the team said.
Granted, the various leg injuries particularly to spiritual leader Stephen Curry, who missed 31 games this season and is expected to sit out the first round of the playoffs as well, would be enough to trip up any team, even one as mighty as the Dubs. Golden State ranks second in offensive efficiency and San Antonio ranks fourth in defensive efficiency.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr, who played for San Antonio's Gregg Popovich during the Spurs' ongoing championship era, sounded like his mentor when he labeled much of what happened in March and earlier this month as "meaningless".
JaVale McGee scored 15 points and played aggressive defense while Green had 12 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.
From the opening tip, Golden State was executing smart plays.
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Cook was a two-way player for the Warriors, meaning he split time between the Santa Cruz Warriors (G-League affiliate) and Golden State. This 2017-18 Golden State team has been ravaged by injuries - at times, playing without all four of its All-Stars - as it dropped 10 of 17 games entering the playoffs.
"With the last month, having so many injuries, we've had so many funky lineups that we don't usually practice or they aren't ideal lineups just because of the circumstances this past month", Cook said. If the team wants to be competitive with the Warriors, they must get Lamarcus Aldridge more involved.
"We finally got back to defending", said Kerr.
Game 2 is at 9:30 p.m. Monday at the Oracle.
This level of effort on the defensive end is made apparent by the team's six steals, six blocks, and an astounding 21 more rebounds than the Spurs brought in.
"When he's ready, he's ready but he's making progress, which is a good sign", Kerr said. They are not the same team. After the Spurs lost Kawhi Leonard for essentially the entire season and barely scrapped their way into the seventh seed, the series holds significantly less promise.