OAKLAND, Calif. — Kevin Durant patted his chest after two big baskets in the fourth quarter and let everybody know “I got this!” Stephen Curry knocked down a timely baseline 3-pointer, reached his hand high and gestured to further ignite a raucous sellout crowd.
On a day when Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum put on a dazzling display of shot-making for Portland, the NBA’s top-seeded team found its touch down the stretch and defended with purpose.
Durant had 32 points and 10 rebounds in his Golden State playoff debut, Curry scored 29 points, and the Warriors withstood that sensational day by the Trail Blazers’ dynamic backcourt duo to win Game 1 of the first-round series 121-109 on Sunday.
McCollum scored a playoff career-best 41 points and Lillard had 34, but the Warriors made the crucial big plays on both ends down the stretch with Portland missing injured center Jusuf Nurkic.
“When they got it going, they’re hitting tough shots in the first half, some you’ve just got to live with; we played great defense,” Curry said. “They were just able to finish, but over the course of 48 you just try to wear them down.”
Draymond Green had 19 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists, five blocked shots and three steals to help last season’s second-place team take the first step in what it is counting on to be a championship run.
Durant shot 12 for 20, showing no issues with a recent left knee injury that sidelined him 19 games before he returned for the final three regular-season contests.
WIZARDS 114, HAWKS 107: John Wall scored a playoff career-high 32 points and Markieff Morris added 21 in his playoff debut as Washington beat Atlanta in Game 1 of their first-round series, in Washington.
Wall scored 15 points in the third quarter and finished with 14 assists in the best playoff performance of his young career. Morris, in his first taste of the postseason after 448 regular-season games, caught fire early in the second half to push Washington ahead, and the Wizards held on to take the series lead.
Bradley Beal had 22 points for the Wizards, who got enough from their top players to offset 25 points from Atlanta’s Dennis Schroder and 19 from Paul Millsap. Center Dwight Howard had 14 rebounds but just seven points for the Hawks, who dominated inside and on the boards early but couldn’t contain Wall, Beal and Morris.