Basketball

Curry fires Warriors but Sixers, Raptors stunned in play-off openers

Monday, April 15, 2019

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LOS ANGELES, United States (AFP) — Golden State Warriors began their quest for a three-peat by clobbering Los Angeles Clippers, while the Brooklyn Nets and Orlando Magic delivered a pair of upset victories as the NBA play-offs began Saturday.

Stephen Curry drained eight three-pointers to give him the most in league playoff history as the two-time defending champions Warriors dominated the Clippers 121-104.

“We imposed our will for 48 minutes,” said Curry. “We have been working for the last month on our collective mindset, raising our intensity and focus.”

Curry finished with 38 points, shooting eight of 12 from beyond the arc to pass Ray Allen (385) for career postseason threes with 386.

Curry also tallied a play-off career-high 15 rebounds and seven assists.

“Curry has destroyed us all year,” said Clippers coach Doc Rivers.

Game two is today at the Warriors' Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.

The Clippers and Golden State are meeting for just the second time in the play-offs after the Clippers took a seven-game series in 2014.

The Warriors' Kevin Durant and the Clippers' Patrick Beverley were ejected with 4:41 to go, just 19 seconds after they received double-technicals when Durant stripped Beverley and the Clippers guard stumbled to the sidelines.

Elsewhere, D'Angelo Russell scored 26 points as sixth-seeded Brooklyn jolted third-seeded Philadelphia 111-102 at the Wells Fargo Center to give the Nets a 1-0 lead in the best-of-seven series.

The Sixers, meanwhile, saw Jimmy Butler lead the scoring with a play-off career-high 36 points while ailing Joel Embiid had 22 points.

But it was a disappointing outing for Australian star Ben Simmons, who was restricted to just nine points for Philadelphia.

Embiid had been doubtful with left knee soreness and was cleared to play less than 10 minutes before the game. Embiid, who missed 14 of the team's final 24 games, looked hampered by his injury.

In the day's other Eastern Conference match-up, the second-seeded Raptors were left ruing missed chances after crashing to a 104-101 loss to Orlando at the Scotiabank Arena.


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