|Warriors looking for more poise in Game 2 vs. Clippers|
Both teams see areas of needed improvement as the Golden State Warriors seek to go up 2-0 against the visiting Los Angeles Clippers on Monday night in Game 2 of their Western Conference first-round playoff series in Oakland, Calif.
The Warriors overcame 21 turnovers and the ejection of Kevin Durant to post a 121-104 victory in Game 1 of the best-of-7 series Saturday.
Golden State prevailed by blocking 14 shots, limiting the Clippers to 40.4 percent shooting and getting a game-high 38 points from Stephen Curry.
The win was the Warriors' sixth straight in a playoff opener and the 20th in their last 21 postseason home games.
It happened without Durant for the final 4:41 after he and Clippers guard Patrick Beverley twice got nailed with dueling technical fouls in a stretch of just 19 seconds. Both were ejected.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr noted afterward that technical foul accumulation -- a player gets an automatic suspension after seven in the postseason -- already has become a concern.
"He took the bait," Kerr said of Durant's response to Beverley's in-your-face style of play. "That's two technicals. Whether you play four playoff games or 24, seven is the magic number. He's got four to play with. After one game.
"But that's what Beverley does. We talked about it for the last couple days. He's a hell of a defender. He plays hard. Got a lot of respect for him. We already talked about it for two days. That's one of our keys: Don't take the bait. And we took it, so you just can't do it."
Clippers coach Doc Rivers thought the game was lost in the final 3:28 of the first half, when a 16-5 Warriors flurry turned a 51-51 tie into an 11-point halftime advantage.
The stretch included technical fouls on Rivers and Danilo Gallinari as the Clippers, according to their head coach, lost their focus.
"They deserved to win," Rivers said. "We made too many mistakes. We can't lose our composure where we're giving up a free-throw rebound because we forgot to block out because we're complaining. So all that's on us.
"But we've got to have a fighting chance here, too, and like it's just got to be consistency, and I've said this before. It's an emotional game, but just like players can lose their emotions and their composure, coaches do it all the time, officials can't. I just thought the end of that half, that swing was huge. We have to play a little smarter."
In the end, Curry was the difference. A majority of his points came on 8-for-12 shooting on 3-pointers, on a night when he passed Ray Allen for the all-time NBA lead in postseason 3-pointers.
Curry also found time for a postseason career-high 15 rebounds, helping Golden State run up a 53-40 dominance over the Clippers on the boards.
Rivers wouldn't divulge if he was considering lineup changes. Reserves Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell each made a rare start when the Clippers visited Oakland earlier this month, but the duo has led Rivers' second unit all season.
Harrell finished with 26 points and Williams 25. Meanwhile, three Clippers starters -- Beverley (three), Landry Shamet (three) and Ivica Zubac (zero) -- scored three points or fewer.
--Field Level Media