Stephen Curry too hot for Clippers

Warriors guard Stephen Curry, wearing contact lenses, showing just how he does it after making a three-pointer against the Clippers in Game 1 of their NBA Western Conference first-round series at the Oracle Arena in California. His eight treys mean h
Warriors guard Stephen Curry, wearing contact lenses, showing just how he does it after making a three-pointer against the Clippers in Game 1 of their NBA Western Conference first-round series at the Oracle Arena in California. His eight treys mean he now has 386 career threes in play-off history.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

Warriors star breaks Allen's three-pointer mark in play-offs; Nuggets and Raptors lose

LOS ANGELES • The Golden State Warriors began their quest for a hat-trick by clobbering the Los Angeles Clippers, while second seeds Denver and Toronto slipped up as the National Basketball Association post-season began on Saturday.

Stephen Curry hit eight of 12 from beyond the arc to become the most prolific three-point shooter in play-off history as the two-time defending champions won 121-104 at home.

"We imposed our will for 48 minutes," he said. "We have been working for the last month on our collective mindset, raising our intensity and focus. It might not be flashy, but we all got to do our jobs."

One of his treys was from about 30m as he passed Ray Allen's 385 by one. "Shout out to the contacts," said Curry, referencing the contact lenses that he wore after making 378 without visual aid.

He also had a play-off career-high 15 rebounds and seven assists.

"Curry has destroyed us all year," said Clippers coach Doc Rivers. "We have to try to do better from a coaching perspective."

He was also unhappy with the officiating, with his team being hit with four technical fouls while he felt that the hosts got away with it.

"I saw a couple of guys on the other team cursing, yelling, pointing, yelling and nothing," he said.

"It's just not right. We have to be consistent. My technical (at half-time) by the way, you can read my lips, I said, 'All I want is consistency'."

Game 2 is at the Warriors' Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, today. The teams are meeting for just the second time after the Clippers took a seven-game series in 2014.

Draymond Green, who made all five of his shots in the opening quarter, had 17 points and seven assists and Kevin Durant scored 23 points for Golden State, who have won seven consecutive play-off games.

Durant and Patrick Beverley were ejected with 4min 41sec to go, just 19 seconds after they received double-technicals when Durant stripped Beverley and the Clippers guard stumbled to the sidelines.

In the other Western Conference match-up, DeMar DeRozan had 18 points and 12 rebounds while Derrick White had 16 to help the San Antonio Spurs beat hosts and second seeds Denver Nuggets.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Bryn Forbes added 15 each for seventh seeds Spurs, who grabbed the lead early and never relinquished it.

Nikola Jokic had 10 points, 14 rebounds and 14 assists for a triple-double in his first play-off game for Denver.

Gary Harris had a game-high 20 points, and Jamal Murray scored 17.

In Toronto, Eastern Conference second seeds Raptors continued their woeful record in series openers, which is now 2-14 after crashing 104-101 to the Orlando Magic.

D.J. Augustin scored the final five points, including a three-pointer with 4.2 seconds left to seal a famous win for seventh seeds Magic, who finished the regular season with 16 fewer wins than their rivals.

In Philadelphia, D'Angelo Russell scored 26 points as sixth seeds Brooklyn jolted their hosts 76ers, who were booed off after being downed 111-102.

He was helped by three double-digit efforts from the bench: Caris LeVert (23), Spencer Dinwiddie (18) and Ed Davis (12).

The 76ers' Jimmy Butler had a play-off career high of 36 points as the ailing Joel Embiid, who missed 14 of the final 24 games and was cleared to play less than 10 minutes before the start, had 22 points. But Australian Ben Simmons was restricted to nine points.

Embiid, who looked hampered by his sore left knee, said: "Every missed shot, you get booed. You get the next one and you think, 'Should I shoot it or not'?"

Butler said the only remedy was to win at home today.

"I understand it. They want to see us win," he said.

"I guarantee if we're winning, they're not booing. That's how we change it."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE, REUTERS

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 15, 2019, with the headline 'Curry too hot for Cippers'. Print Edition | Subscribe