NBA: Curry powers Warriors but Raptors, Sixers and Nuggets all stunned in play-off openers

Stephen Curry complemented a game-high 38 points with a career playoff-high 15 rebounds in a historic performance as the Golden State Warriors overwhelmed the Los Angeles Clippers 121-104.
Stephen Curry complemented a game-high 38 points with a career playoff-high 15 rebounds in a historic performance as the Golden State Warriors overwhelmed the Los Angeles Clippers 121-104.PHOTO: REUTERS

(REUTERS) - The National Basketball Association play-offs began on Saturday (April 13) with a trio of shock results but normal service by the Golden State Warriors as they began their bid for a third straight title.

Stephen Curry complemented a game-high 38 points with a career playoff-high 15 rebounds in a historic performance as the Warriors overwhelmed the Los Angeles Clippers 121-104 in a volatile Game 1 of their Western Conference first-round series in Oakland, California.

The matchup of familiar Pacific Division rivals featured the ejections of the Warriors' Kevin Durant and Clippers' Patrick Beverley, each of whom was nailed with a second technical foul for a verbal altercation near mid-court midway through the fourth quarter.

Curry's 38 points included 8-for-12 shooting on three-pointers on a night when he passed Ray Allen (385) for the NBA all-time career play-off record. He finished the game with 386 career threes.

Draymond Green provided a surprising offensive spark with 17 points on 7-for-12 shooting to go with seven rebounds and a team-high-tying seven assists, helping Golden State win the opener of the first-round series for the sixth consecutive season.

Elsewhere the form books were all overturned.

D.J. Augustin scored the final five points of the game, including a tiebreaking three-pointer with 3.4 seconds left, as the Orlando Magic upset the hosts Toronto Raptors 104-101 in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference first-round series.

The Magic, the seventh seed in the East, won their first play-off game since their most recent post-season appearance in 2012.

The Raptors, the second seeds, fell to 2-14 all-time in series-opening games.

Kawhi Leonard scored four straight points to give the Raptors a 101-99 lead with 1:02 left. After Augustin tied the score with a driving layup with 44.9 seconds left, Marc Gasol's open three-pointer from the corner rimmed out.

The Magic did not call timeout on their way up the floor and Augustin sank the go-ahead basket as the shot clock dwindled.

The Raptors called timeout, after which Leonard lofted an air ball from three-point range from beyond the top of the key. Following that, the Magic inbounded the ball without issue to end the game.

In the other East clash, D'Angelo Russell scored 26 points, Caris LeVert added 23 and the visiting Brooklyn Nets stunned the Philadelphia 76ers 111-102 in Game 1.

Spencer Dinwiddie contributed 18 and Ed Davis had 12 points and 16 rebounds for the sixth-seeded Nets, who competed in their first play-off game in four years after finishing the regular season at 42-40.

Jimmy Butler led the third-seeded Sixers with a career-high 36-point performance in the play-offs.

Back in the West, DeMar DeRozan had 18 points and 12 rebounds, Derrick White scored 16 and the San Antonio Spurs held off the hosts Denver Nuggets 101-96.

LaMarcus Aldridge and Bryn Forbes scored 15 each for the seventh-seeded 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.