Warriors dominate Blazers, Heat crush Hornets to advance
LOS ANGELES—Klay Thompson scored 37 points and Draymond Green posted his first post-season triple-double as the Golden State Warriors opened the second round of the NBA playoffs on Sunday with a convincing 118-106 victory over Portland.
The absence of injured superstar Stephen Curry made no difference for the reigning champion Warriors, who connected on 47.3 percent of their shots against a Trail Blazers team that had wrapped up their first-round series against the injury depleted Los Angeles Clippers less than 48 hours earlier.
Thompson drained a three-pointer 17 seconds into the contest and the Warriors rolled from there in front of their home fans in Oakland, California.
Thompson scored 18 of his 37 points in the first quarter — when Portland scored just 17 points total.
The Warriors led 37-17 after the first frame, and the Trail Blazers never got the gap under nine points from there.
Australian big man Andrew Bogut delivered a double-double of 10 points and 12 rebounds, as did Harrison Barnes. Shaun Livingston, starting in place of Curry, chipped in 12 points and six assists.
“The way we got it done on the defensive end, we made it tough on them,” said Green, who scored 23 points with 13 rebounds and 11 assists in 38 minutes.
“Listen, we know they’re not going to have games like this every night,” he added of a Blazers team whose five starters made just 23 of 75 attempts. “But if we can make them take tough shots … we think they’ll wear down throughout the course of the series.”
Heat sting Hornets
While the Warriors were opening the second round with a rout, the Miami Heat were closing out the first round with a 106-73 drubbing of the Charlotte Hornets.
The Heat, who had trailed 3-2 in the series, rode an outstanding performance from Slovenian point guard Goran Dragic, who scored a game-high 25 points.
“I just had more room to operate. My teammates trust me even when I miss a shot and they keep supporting me,” Dragic said.
Luol Deng tallied 15 points, Dwyane Wade finished with 12 and Hassan Whiteside had 10 points, 12 rebounds and five blocks for the Heat, who never trailed.
“I’m not a prophet, but I knew we were winning this game,” Wade said.
“This team has had opportunities all season to cave and every time when we have been in that situation we have somehow prevailed.”
Hornets guard Kemba Walker scored just nine points on three-of-16 shooting and had three turnovers.
But Hornets coach Steve Clifford said the Heat’s 58-36 rebounding advantage was the real key.
“We had a bad start because of the rebounding game,” Clifford said. “At halftime, I thought we were fine. But in the third quarter, things got away from us.”
The Heat next face the winner of Sunday’s game seven between the Toronto Raptors and Indiana Pacers.