Memories of the Golden State Warriors epic 2016 NBA Finals seemed to not linger as they opened up preseason with a thumping win. They defeated their southern California rivals, Los Angeles Clippers, winning 120-75 in front of their own fans.
Warriors get out to quick lead, don’t look back
Who would get the first basket of the night? Well, of course, it would be none other than the newest big money singing of the Warriors, Kevin Durant. He drilled a 26-foot jumper to get the Warriors out to a quick 3-0 lead. They would never look back. At the 8:41 mark of the opening quarter, Golden State had already doubled the Clippers lead, 5-10, when Stephen Curry got involved for the first time hitting a three of his own.
The lead only grew. Two and a half minutes later, the lead was 18-5. Three pointers were raining down on the court in Oakland with Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia getting involved. On defense, they swarmed the Los Angeles Clippers. As the time finally wound down in the first 12 minutes of play, the Clippers were held to only 25% shooting from the floor, making 5 of 20 shots. Meanwhile, the Warriors torched the bottom of the net, drilling 12 of 19 overall, good enough for 63.2%.
Doc Rivers’ squad try to stay in the game in the second quarter, matching the Warriors first five points. But little by little, Golden State’s lead grew. The Los Angeles Clippers had no answer. They could not make their shots, and turnovers were an issue, giving the ball away 17 times in the opening half. By the time the half ended, this game was more than over, as the Warriors steamrolled their way to a 71-31 lead.
Golden State stays hot in second half
Needless to say, Golden State showed no signs of slowing down as the second half began. The three’s continued to rain down with Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant scoring their sides first six points. Eventually, their lead grew to 50 points, 86-36, when Anderson Varejao scored an easy two points down near the rim. With 51 seconds left to go in the third quarter Golden State cracked the 100-point mark thanks to the hands of Andre Iguodala.
Klay Thompson ended the night as the team’s leading point getter, scoring 30, with Kevin Durant not close behind on 21. Stephen Curry had a quiet night overall, playing only 23 minutes and scoring 14, with nine of those coming from behind the arc.
The Warriors pulled all their starters for the fourth quarter, and their backups managed to score 18 points. Veteran David West ended the night near double digits, with nine points, while Cameron Jones finished second off the bench with six.
When the carnage finally ended, the Warriors ran away with a gigantic lead. Yes, it is only preseason, but this was an impressive win to say the least. They made quick work of the Los Angeles Clippers and Kevin Durant looked good in his first appearance in the Bay Area.
The Clippers will look to rebound quickly as they continue preseason action tomorrow night. They will take on the Toronto Raptors at 7:30 PM PST at the Staples Center. For the Golden State Warriors, they remain at home as they welcome in the Sacramento Kings at 7:30 PM PST on Thursday night.