Kevin Durant, defending champ Warriors get defensive, beat Spurs in National Basketball Association playoff

The Golden State Warriors dusted off their poor form to start their first round of the playoffs in fine fashion with a 113-92 win over the San Antonio Spurs on Saturday. "We don't want to go home [down] 0-2". "We kind of hobbled into the playoffs, but we know how talented we are and how good we are". They're not together. They can't win without Steph.

Golden State Warriors star guard Stephen Curry is making progress in his recovery from a knee injury and will increase his rehab efforts, the club announced Saturday.

Klay Thompson scored 27 points and shot 11 of 13 from the floor, including 5 for 6 from 3-pointers and Kevin Durant finished with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists to lead the way for the Warriors. Golden State's emotional leader, Draymond Green (12 points, 11 assists, eight rebounds) set the tone for a defensive performance that helped exorcise the memory of Tuesday's 40-point loss to Utah in the regular-season finale.

Rudy Gay led the Spurs with 15 points off the bench as leading scorer LaMarcus Aldridge was limited to 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting. The Warriors addressed the subject again as part of what Kerr called their "playoff preparation".

Curry is beyond critical to what the Warriors do.

For the first time in more than a month, Golden State mirrored its former dominant self on the defensive end. They have plans for nothing short of a repeat title. But while they are expected to ultimately advance over the team they swept in the West finals a year ago, it may not be quite as easy this time around. "We're primed for this. I think we've got a lot of experience in the playoffs".

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As for San Antonio? With him off the court, they score just 106.1 points per 100 possessions with a mere plus-2.9 net rating. The team has obviously grown accustomed to playing without Leonard in the lineup, but the impact of his absence becomes even more significant on the playoff stage.

The Golden State Warriors team that finished the regular season with a 7-10 record over its last 17 games is not the one the San Antonio Spurs and the rest of the National Basketball Association will be getting in the first round of the playoffs and beyond.

"JaVale was great", Kerr said. He admitted he was of the view his team were prepared for the contest, but they were clearly not as they were out scored in every quarter except the last one when they registered two points more than the Warriors. That means Manu Ginobili, Danny Green, Patty Mills and the other perimeter shooters are going to have to step up and make some shots or this is going to be a quick, unceremonious exit for San Antonio. But, they also need to plug the Curry-shaped hole in the starting lineup. Leonard missed all but nine games this season recovering from tendinopathy in his right quadriceps, and the Spurs haven't said if or when he will return for this series.

Kerr went with his best defensive unit. He made sharp passes, played tight defense and stripped multiple Spurs players in the paint. "That is the reason we're a championship team". "It's the defense that has been the key for this team for years". They looked more and more like their vintage self.

He worked through one-legged jumps onto his injured knee during pregame warmups and got in some shooting.

When the Spurs did attempt to challenge Durant, he put on his playmaker hat, dishing out seven assists.

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