NBA: Durant, Thompson give Warriors 2-0 edge on Spurs; livid Embiid bemoans benching after Heat burn 76ers

Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant gesture during the National Basketball Association game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, on April 16, 2018.
Golden State Warriors' Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant gesture during the National Basketball Association game against the San Antonio Spurs at the Oracle Arena in Oakland, California, on April 16, 2018.PHOTO: EPA-EFE

(REUTERS) - Klay Thompson scored six consecutive points early in the fourth quarter, two on free throws that resulted from a clear-path foul, helping the Golden State Warriors break away from the San Antonio Spurs en route to a 116-101 victory in Game 2 of the Western Conference first-round play-offs on Monday (April 16) night in Oakland, California.

The National Basketball Association defending champions will take a 2-0 lead on the road when the best-of-seven series moves to San Antonio for Game 3 on Thursday (April 19) night.

Meanwhile, Joel Embiid was not happy to be left off the active roster as his Philadelphia 76ers lost Game 2 of their Eastern Conference series to the visiting Miami Heat.

Embiid, sidelined since March 28 due to a broken orbital bone and a concussion, took to Instagram to post a profane message: "(Bleeping) sick and tired of being babied."

The 24-year-old centre subsequently expanded on his position in an interview with ESPN's Ramona Shelburne. "I promised the city the play-offs, and I'm not on the court and I may not be on Thursday either," he said.

"I wish more than anything that I was out there. I just want the green light to play."

The Heat beat the 76ers 113-103 on Monday in Philadelphia to tie the best-of-seven series at a game apiece. Game 3 is scheduled for Thursday in Miami.

Kevin Durant had 32 points and Thompson 31 for the Warriors, who swept the Spurs 4-0 in the Western finals last May en route to their second championship in three years.

San Antonio's LaMarcus Aldridge produced game highs in points, 34, and rebounds, 12.

After trailing by as many as eight points in the first half, the Warriors were up just 82-77 after Spurs centre Pau Gasol dropped in a pair of free throws 30 seconds into the fourth quarter.

However, on a designed play following Gasol's second made free throw, Draymond Green threw a 75-foot pass to Thompson, who had gotten behind the San Antonio defence.

Bryn Forbes grabbed Thompson's jersey shortly before the catch, resulting in the clear-path violation, which is penalised with two free throws and possession of the ball.

Thompson made both foul shots, then hit a jumper five seconds later to complete what amounted to a four-point play.

When the All-Star connected again from the perimeter two possessions later, the Warriors had their biggest lead of the game to that point, 88-77 with 10:26 to go.

Consecutive three-pointers by Green and Quinn Cook allowed Golden State to extend their lead to 15 before the West's No. 2 seed coasted home.

Durant hit 10 of his 19 field-goal attempts and went 9-for-10 at the foul line for the Warriors, who outshot the Spurs 52.6 per cent to 41.2 per cent.

Thompson bombed in five three-pointers and Andre Iguodala added four, helping Golden State outscore San Antonio 45-12 from beyond the arc. The Warriors made 15 of their 31 three-point attempts, while the Spurs shot just 4-for-28.

Iguodala finished with 14 points, while JaVale McGee and David West added 10 apiece for Golden State, which won their 11th consecutive home play-off game.

Aldridge, held to 14 points in Game 1, rebounded with 11-for-21 shooting and 12-for-12 accuracy from the foul line.

Patty Mills had 21 points, Rudy Gay and Gasol 12 apiece, and Manu Ginobili 10 for the Spurs, who had the worst road record in the regular season among all the play-off teams.

Sixers coach Brett Brown was sympathetic to the injured Embiid's position without offering a timetable for the player's return.

"He just wants to play basketball, he wants to be with his team; he wants to see this through," he said. "When he is not able to do that, he gets frustrated. I respect his frustration. It's born out of him wanting to be with his team."

ESPN reported that Embiid still must pass several more medical milestones in his recovery before he can return to action.

He was hurt in an on-court collision with Sixers rookie Markelle Fultz, and he needed facial surgery to repair the damage.

Embiid was the third overall pick in the 2014 draft out of Kansas, but he missed his first two NBA seasons owing to foot injuries. He played just 31 games in 2016-17, then appeared in 63 games this season, averaging 22.9 points, 11 rebounds, 3.2 assists and 1.8 blocks.