The top-ranked Golden State Warriors were expected to make easy work of the eighth-seeded Los Angeles Clippers in their first-round series. While it wasn't exactly easy the whole time, the Warriors made quick work of the Clippers by eliminating them with a 129-110 Game 6 victory, behind Kevin Durant's playoff career-high 50-point effort.
Durant scored 38 points in the first half alone -- one shy of an NBA playoff record for most points in a single half.
Here are a few takeaways from the Warriors' Game 6 win over the Clippers, along with highlights from the game.
Durant makes the Warriors just about unbeatable
For all of the things the Clippers did right in this series, whether it was their toughness, grit or Lou Williams just being phenomenal, they simply don't have a player the magnitude of Kevin Durant. From the very beginning of Game 6, Durant was a man on a mission as he scored 38 points in the first half alone and finished with 50 for the game. Both are career-highs and it was the reason why this game was never actually a game.
Warriors still have too much firepower
For the first time in three years, the Warriors lost two home games in a playoff series -- to a No. 8 seed, no less. Making matters worse, Golden State lost DeMarcus Cousins due to a season-ending injury. Even with that said, however, and all of the hoopla about the Warriors being at their most vulnerable point during their dynasty run, they're still the best team in the league.
Despite playing in enemy territory in front of a hostile crowd at Staples Center, the Warriors dominated from the beginning. Whether it was Durant draining easy buckets, Draymond Green grabbing offensive rebounds or Stephen Curry contributing in a supporting role, the Clippers simply did not have the personnel to match up with the Warriors when it truly counted.
Draymond comes out to play
Statistically, this year Green had his worst regular season since the Warriors began their dynasty run back in 2014. The veteran forward has struggled with injuries, missed serious stretches of games and averaged just 7.4 points, 7.3 rebounds and 6.9 assists per game for a PER rating of 12.9 this season. All of those numbers are the worst that Green has put up in the past four years.
However, when it truly counted -- and this tends to be the case with the Warriors -- he came out to play and was easily the second-best player in tonight's game. Green posted a triple-double effort (16 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists) and his energy could be felt within the first couple of minutes of the game when he grabbed two offensive rebounds and immediately put them in for baskets.
With the Warriors missing Cousins and potentially shuffling Andrew Bogut out of the starting lineup for certain games, Golden State will need this type of Draymond if they hope to advance past the Rockets in the second round.
Durant scores playoff career-high 50 points in Game 6 win
It's over -- the Warriors have officially closed out the Clippers. Golden State rode Kevin Durant's career-high 50 points to advance to the second round of the playoffs, where they'll now take on the Houston Rockets in a rematch of the Western Conference Finals from last season.
35-year-old Iggy slams it against Clippers
If you thought Andre Iguodala was slowing down, you thought wrong. Check out this slam dunk from the 35-year-old veteran as the Warriors looked to close the Clippers out.
Durant scores 38 in first half, ties NBA playoff record
To say that Kevin Durant was on fire in the first half of Game 6 against the Clippers would be an understatement. Durant finished the half with 38 points on 12-of-17 shooting as the Warriors built a 72-53 lead. Durantfor the most points ever scored in the first half of an NBA playoff game, and just one point behind Eric "Sleepy" Floyd for the most points in any playoff half.
Thompson blocks, Durant finishes with dunk
The Warriors appeared to be locked in early while trying to close out the Clippers in Game 6. Check out this teamwork as Klay Thompson blocks and Kevin Durant finishes with this slam dunk.
Livingston enters starting lineup for Game 6
The Warriors chose an unlikely starter for Game 6 versus the Los Angeles Clippers. As Golden State looked to close out Los Angeles, they decided to start Shaun Livingston in place of Andrew Bogut. Livingston had not started a playoff game for the team since the 2016 playoff run.
Steve Kerr is starting Shaun Livingston with the four All-Stars— Mark Medina (@MarkG_Medina) April 27, 2019