Add it all up, and the Warriors have a commanding 1-0 series lead over San Antonio for the same reasons the Warriors swept the Spurs in the 2017 Western Conference finals.
Thompson dropped in five of his six 3-point attempts as Golden State, which struggled offensively down the stretch of the regular season with Stephen Curry nursing a knee injury, shot 10-for-22 (45.5 percent) from beyond the arc.
The Warriors stars were on fire from the very start, to the thunderous crowd in the Oracle Arena, stormed to 57-41 in the first half and never looked back.
The Warriors' unquestioned leader with Curry sidelined by a sprained left MCL, Kevin Durant (24 points on 9-for-17 shooting, eight rebounds, seven assists) flirted with a triple-double. "We had some combinations that we wanted to get to and, you know, that was Game 1 and things change in the playoffs".
Rudy Gay paced San Antonio with 15 while LaMarcus Aldridge and Bryn Forbes each had 14. The Warriors did not finish the season with the league's best offensive rating (that honor belongs to the top-seeded Houston Rockets), but they averaged a league-leading 113.5 points per game due to their top-five pace of play. The Sixers could end this one early with Embiid back in the lineup. When informed of Kerr's comments in the locker room however, Durant, who finished with team highs in points (27) and assists (seven), expressed disagreement. "I thought we didn't play as ourselves".
"Just forcing them to shoot tough shots", McGee said.
The NBA playoffs are finally here, and it couldn't come soon enough for the Golden State Warriors. Iguodala returned to the game for the start of the third, but Kerr said: "Obviously, he'll get treatment and try to get better". Desperate for his team to raise its defensive intensity, head coach Steve Kerr replaced Quinn Cook - a so-so defender in his first National Basketball Association postseason - at starting point guard with Andre Iguodala, who entered these playoffs with 109 games over 10 postseason campaigns. The Warriors pushed the tempo, harassed San Antonio shooters, punished the Spurs on the glass and shot the ball efficiently.
Golden State came with the kind of swarming defense it is so used to playing but hadn't exhibited much lately as rotations were mixed and matched because of injuries and illness.
After the game, Draymond Green explained that although the team's doubters brought up some concerns, deep down, the defending champions know exactly how talented they are. Even without Kawhi and even with Pau Gasol playing heavy minutes, San Antonio's best chance of winning this series is to contain the Warriors' long-range attack while making just enough mid-range jumpers to carry themselves to a low-scoring win. Guts and hard work and good coaching can only go so far against the suddenly-refocused and playoff-locked Warriors. We've won games without myself.
I'm just teasing, jeez.
"He's very tall", said Kerr.