Durant, Thompson put Warriors firmly in control

OAKLAND (California) • Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson handed San Antonio a painful shooting lesson, as Golden State took a grip on their Western Conference first-round play-off duel on Monday.

Durant and Thompson both weighed in with 30-point games, as the Warriors powered to a 116-101 home win that put the National Basketball Association champions 2-0 up in their best-of-seven series.

The Warriors - still missing the injured talisman Stephen Curry - outclassed a physical Spurs side from three-point range in a devastating display of scoring.

Golden State made 15 of 31 attempts from three-point range, contrasting sharply with San Antonio, who mustered only four from 28.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich pinpointed his team's failure to threaten from distance as the main factor in the loss.

"The ball has to go in the basket," he said. "That's the difference in the ball game. They shot 50 per cent of threes; we made 14 per cent, four of 28 or something.

"You've got to make shots. And it's been like that the entire year on the road for us, for whatever reason. And it really showed up tonight."

San Antonio started strongly, with LaMarcus Aldridge - who finished with 34 points - driving the Spurs forward as they shaded the first period 25-23.

The visitors continued to rally in the second quarter and had moved into a 53-47 lead at half-time.

But the Warriors' relentless pressure and offensive variety began to tell in the second half.

Durant finished with 32 points, six rebounds and six assists while Thompson had 31 points with five assists.

In the Eastern Conference, Dwyane Wade produced a vintage performance as the Miami Heat ended Philadelphia's 17-game winning streak to level their series 1-1.

He scored 28 points in 25 minutes as Miami stunned the 76ers with a 113-103 victory.

Ben Simmons led the Philadelphia scoring with 24 points.

Sixers coach Brett Brown later was forced to respond to a profane social media post from injured star Joel Embiid, who wrote of his frustration at being "babied" after watching from the sidelines.

"He just wants to play basketball, to be with his team, to play in front of the fans," Brown said.

"When he's not able to do that he gets frustrated and I respect his frustration."

AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 18, 2018, with the headline 'Durant, Thompson put Warriors firmly in control'. Print Edition | Subscribe