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Durant, defending champ Warriors get defensive, beat Spurs

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The Golden State Warriors had something to prove all right: Oh yes, they plan to stay on top in these playoffs despite a disappointing finish to the regular season.

Kevin Durant helped the defending champions get defensive in a hurry, finishing with 24 points, eight rebounds and seven assists and the Warriors returned to their old dominant selves at playoff time to beat the cold-shooting San Antonio Spurs 113-92 on Saturday.

''Absolutely,'' Klay Thompson said about playing a memorable, statement-making Game 1. ''We did not end the season on a high note, we kind of hobbled into the playoffs. We know how talented we are. We know how good we are. We have been here before in the postseason and know what it takes to win.''

And they still know how to win in impressive fashion on the NBA's big stage.

Durant, Thompson and Draymond Green took charge in Game 1 of the first-round series to elevate the Warriors' intensity at last playing without fellow All-Star and injured two-time MVP Stephen Curry, sidelined since March 23 with a sprained left knee.

Thompson found his shooting touch and scored 27 points, making 11 of 13 shots, while 7-footer JaVale McGee started in Steve Kerr's center-by-committee approach and contributed 15 points, four rebounds and two blocked shots in 16 minutes. Green contributed 12 points, 11 assists and eight rebounds.

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 first quarter we looked like deer in the headlights,'' Spurs coach Gregg Popovich said.

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Monday night at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors looked unbeatable again. And that was without the do-everything Curry.

Golden State said all week it's a new season, then went out and showed it. The Warriors have plans for nothing short of a repeat title.

''We're a championship ballclub. We know what it takes this time a year to win,'' Green said. ''... We're primed for this. A lot of people tend to forget what we're capable of. We know.''

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.

San Antonio couldn't keep up from the opening tip.

''We were just very overly excited, overzealous,'' San Antonio's Danny Green said. ''Overreacting to a lot of things because we are so excited that we're in the playoffs and playing, obviously, the best team in the world.''

Beat up and missing its four All-Stars at times, Golden State endured a stretch losing seven of 10 last month.

Golden State swept San Antonio in the Western Conference Finals a year ago on the way to a second championship in three seasons and an astonishing, record-setting 16-1 postseason run.

Kerr always said his team would be ready when these playoffs came around.

The Warriors were determined to pick up their defense, and they did just that.

Green, Durant and the others quickly closed on shooters and got hands up to alter shots.

2015 Finals MVP Andre Iguodala moved into the starting lineup for the 2018 edition of that ''Strength In Numbers'' mantra - and all those bright yellow T-shirts through the arena are there to back it.

Iguodala, who started just seven games all season before Saturday, had missed four of the final five regular-season games with a sore left knee.

Kerr went with his best defensive unit.

''I thought it was important to re-establish our defense, one way or another, win or lose,'' Kerr said. ''That's the reason this is a championship team. It's the defense that has been the key for this team for years.''

TIP-INS

Spurs: The Spurs, still without injured star Kawhi Leonard, never led and shot 40 percent. ... San Antonio visited Golden State for the third time in as many months. They lost at Oracle on Feb. 10 and March 8.

Warriors: The Warriors had 32 assists on 44 field goals, 23 of those assists on 33 made baskets through the third. ... Golden State is 6-2 vs. the Spurs in the postseason at home. ... The Warriors have won six straight playoff openers.

CURRY UPDATE

Curry, who Kerr ruled out for the entire first round, was re-examined Friday and continues to make solid progress. He will ramp up the intensity of his on-court rehab work this week with running and lateral movement as he did in recent days and is scheduled to be re-evaluated again in one week.

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

''When he's ready, he's ready but he's making progress, which is a good sign,'' Kerr said.

FAMILY AFFAIR

Kerr's son, Nick, is on the Spurs staff and the team jokingly voted him out of the film room Friday for fear of him sharing Spurs secrets with the enemy.

''I let the team vote on whether they wanted him to stay in the room or not,'' Popovich said. ''Truly, we did, we took a vote. It was a mock vote but they all voted that he had to leave the room. I overruled them and so I let him stay, because he's wonderful and of course we trust him. But he did have dinner with his family last night, so we'll see.''

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Key Players
L. Aldridge
12 PF
K. Durant
35 SF
34.2 Min. Per Game 34.2
26.4 Pts. Per Game 26.4
5.4 Ast. Per Game 5.4
6.8 Reb. Per Game 6.8
50.9 Field Goal % 51.6
51.0 Three Point % 51.5
83.9 Free Throw % 89.0
+ 2 Joffrey Lauvergne made driving dunk 0:15
+ 1 Quinn Cook made 2nd of 2 free throws 0:31
  Team rebound 0:31
  Quinn Cook missed 1st of 2 free throws 0:31
  Shooting foul on Davis Bertans 0:31
  Defensive rebound by Quinn Cook 0:46
  Davis Bertans missed 3-pt. jump shot 0:50
  Team rebound 1:08
  Jordan Bell missed 2nd of 2 free throws 1:08
+ 1 Jordan Bell made 1st of 2 free throws 1:08
  Shooting foul on Dejounte Murray 1:08
Team Stats
Points 92 113
Field Goals 32-80 (40.0%) 44-81 (54.3%)
3-Pointers 9-22 (40.9%) 10-22 (45.5%)
Free Throws 19-24 (79.2%) 15-22 (68.2%)
Total Rebounds 40 57
Offensive 3 10
Defensive 27 41
Team 10 6
Assists 19 32
Steals 9 6
Blocks 4 6
Turnovers 12 15
Fouls 20 18
Technicals 0 1
R. Gay SF 22
15 PTS, 6 REB, 2 AST
24 PTS, 8 REB, 7 AST
1234T
away team logo Spurs 0-1 1724222992
home team logo Warriors 1-0 28292927113
Team Stats
away team logo Spurs 0-1 110.3 PPG 44.3 RPG 23.8 APG
home team logo Warriors 1-0 116.4 PPG 45.5 RPG 27.9 APG
Key Players
R. Gay SF 13.9 PPG 7.0 RPG 2.1 APG 51.0 FG%
K. Thompson SG 22.7 PPG 4.0 RPG 1.9 APG 45.4 FG%
Top Scorers
R. Gay SF 15 PTS 6 REB 2 AST
K. Thompson SG 27 PTS 2 REB 2 AST
40.0 FG% 54.3
40.9 3PT FG% 45.5
79.2 FT% 68.2
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
L. Aldridge 24 14 2 1 1 1 2 3 5/12 0/0 4/4 0 2 18 -13
D. Murray 22 8 5 3 1 1 2 5 3/6 0/0 2/2 0 5 19 +3
D. Green 21 6 2 0 0 1 1 3 2/5 2/4 0/0 0 2 8 -8
P. Mills 26 5 0 3 0 0 1 1 2/5 1/2 0/0 0 0 10 -15
K. Anderson 10 0 3 1 0 0 0 2 0/2 0/0 0/0 0 3 5 -15
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
L. Aldridge 24 14 2 1 1 1 2 3 5/12 0/0 4/4 0 2 18 -13
D. Murray 22 8 5 3 1 1 2 5 3/6 0/0 2/2 0 5 19 +3
D. Green 21 6 2 0 0 1 1 3 2/5 2/4 0/0 0 2 8 -8
P. Mills 26 5 0 3 0 0 1 1 2/5 1/2 0/0 0 0 10 -15
K. Anderson 10 0 3 1 0 0 0 2 0/2 0/0 0/0 0 3 5 -15
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
R. Gay 21 15 6 2 2 0 1 2 5/12 2/4 3/4 2 4 26 -10
B. Forbes 24 14 3 1 0 0 0 0 4/8 1/4 5/7 1 2 19 -7
M. Ginobili 16 9 3 1 3 0 3 1 3/6 2/2 1/2 0 3 14 -15
D. White 13 7 0 1 1 1 0 0 3/6 1/2 0/0 0 0 11 -1
P. Gasol 19 6 2 4 0 0 2 0 3/5 0/0 0/0 0 2 14 -6
D. Bertans 18 4 2 1 1 0 0 3 0/4 0/3 4/5 0 2 9 -4
J. Lauvergne 5 2 1 0 0 0 0 0 1/1 0/0 0/0 0 1 3 +3
T. Parker 13 2 1 1 0 0 0 0 1/8 0/1 0/0 0 1 5 -17
K. Leonard - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
D. Hilliard - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
B. Paul - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
M. Costello - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 232 92 30 19 9 4 12 20 32/80 9/22 19/24 3 27 161 -105
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Thompson 35 27 2 2 1 0 1 3 11/13 5/6 0/0 0 2 33 +22
K. Durant 31 24 8 7 2 0 4 2 9/17 1/4 5/5 1 7 44 +21
J. McGee 16 15 4 0 1 2 0 4 5/7 0/0 5/6 2 2 22 +16
D. Green 33 12 8 11 2 1 3 1 5/13 2/6 0/1 0 8 42 +21
A. Iguodala 23 3 7 4 0 1 1 0 1/4 1/2 0/2 1 6 18 +16
Starters MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
K. Thompson 35 27 2 2 1 0 1 3 11/13 5/6 0/0 0 2 33 +22
K. Durant 31 24 8 7 2 0 4 2 9/17 1/4 5/5 1 7 44 +21
J. McGee 16 15 4 0 1 2 0 4 5/7 0/0 5/6 2 2 22 +16
D. Green 33 12 8 11 2 1 3 1 5/13 2/6 0/1 0 8 42 +21
A. Iguodala 23 3 7 4 0 1 1 0 1/4 1/2 0/2 1 6 18 +16
Bench MIN PTS REB AST STL BLK TO PF FG 3PT FT OREB DREB FPTS +/-
S. Livingston 19 11 5 2 0 0 1 1 4/6 0/0 3/4 1 4 19 +6
K. Looney 20 6 6 3 0 1 2 2 3/5 0/0 0/0 2 4 17 +6
Q. Cook 25 5 4 2 0 1 0 1 2/7 0/2 1/2 0 4 14 +8
D. West 16 4 3 1 0 0 1 2 2/3 0/0 0/0 1 2 8 0
N. Young 7 3 0 0 0 0 0 1 1/3 1/2 0/0 0 0 3 -2
J. Bell 6 3 2 0 0 0 0 0 1/3 0/0 1/2 1 1 5 -5
D. Jones 4 0 2 0 0 0 2 1 0/0 0/0 0/0 1 1 0 -4
S. Curry - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
P. McCaw - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
C. Boucher - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Z. Pachulia - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Total 235 113 51 32 6 6 15 18 44/81 10/22 15/22 10 41 225 +105