(Reuters) Klay Thompson scored a game-high 27 points and Kevin Durant chipped in with 24 yesterday afternoon as the Golden State Warriors opened defense of their NBA title with a 113-92 victory over the San Antonio Spurs in Game 1 of their best-of-seven first-round Western Conference series in Oakland, Calif.
Game 2 is set for tomorrow night, also in Oakland.
Durant had 11 points in the first quarter and surprise starter JaVale McGee gave Golden State an unexpected lift with nine points, helping the Warriors, the second seed in the Western Conference, take command from the start en route to as many as an 18-point lead in the first half.
Down 57-41 at halftime, the Spurs used two hoops by Rudy Gay early in the third period to get within 59-50. But Thompson hit a momentum-killing 3-pointer and the Golden State defense held San Antonio to one field goal over the next 5 1/2 minutes to re-establish control at 73-55.
Thompson (11-for-13) and Durant (9-for-17) combined to hit 20 of their 30 shots for the Warriors, who burned the Spurs’ defense for 54.3 percent shooting.
San Antonio allowed the fewest points in the NBA this season (99.8 per game) and had held Golden State to a season-low 75 in the clubs’ most recent meeting March 19 in San Antonio.
Gay had 15 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge and Bryn Forbes added 14 apiece for the Spurs, who fell into the No. 7 seed when they lost their regular-season finale at New Orleans to complete a 47-35 regular season.
Aldridge was harassed into 5-for-12 shooting.
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.
McGee finished with 15 points and Draymond Green recorded a 12-point, 11-rebound double-double for the Warriors, who swept the Spurs 4-0 in the Western finals last May en route to a 16-1 run to their second championship in three years.
Green’s 11 rebounds were a game-high. He shared game-high assist honors with Durant with eight.
The Spurs shot just 40 percent from the field.