Latest posts by Ashish Mathur (see all)
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The reigning defending NBA champion Golden State Warriors are beginning their title defense without the services of star point guard Stephen Curry, who is expected to miss the entire first-round series against the San Antonio Spurs due to a left knee MCL sprain.
Luckily for the Warriors, they have three other All-Stars to depend on in Kevin Durant, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green and an offensive system which is nearly impossible to defend when its operating on all cylinders.
That was the case on Saturday during Game 1, as the Warriors coasted to a wire-to-wire win over the Spurs, 113-92, to take a 1-0 series lead.
Durant, arguably the second best player in the world, needs to establish himself as the alpha of the Warriors until Curry returns and the 2017 Finals MVP did just that in Game 1.
Durant stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists while shooting above 50 percent from the field.
Thompson was his usual efficient self, posting a game-high 27 points on 11-of-13 shooting, including five threes.
JaVale McGee, who got the start at center for Golden State, was very active with 15 points, four rebounds, two blocks and a couple of dunks.
The Spurs, meanwhile, were led in scoring by Rudy Gay, who registered 15 points. LaMarcus Aldridge scored just 14 and sat out the entire fourth quarter.
San Antonio is clearly outmatched in this series without its best player, Kawhi Leonard, who is unlikely to suit up. As a team, the Spurs shot just 39.2 percent and struggled all game to manufacture good offense against the stifling Warriors defense.
Golden State will look to take a 2-0 series lead on Monday (4/16).