Kevin Durant's game-high 33 points and 10 rebounds guided the Golden State Warriors to a critical 3-0 series lead in the Western Conference Finals following a 120-108 victory Saturday night at the AT&T Center.
Stephen Curry contributed 21 points and three 3-pointers. After knocking down a triple early in the contest, Curry became the Warriors' all-time postseason scoring leader, surpassing Hall of Famer Rick Barry's 1,776 points. Curry now has 1,795 career postseason points, all with Golden State.
Klay Thompson finally found his stroke, producing 17 points on 7-of-15 from the floor and 3-of-6 from deep; Thompson had a total of 17 points on 6-of-21 shooting in the first two games of this series. Draymond Green added 10 points, seven points, seven assists and two blocks.
All five of the Warriors' starting five scored in double figures. Golden State started JaVale McGee at center with Zaza Pachulia still nursing a sore heel and McGee didn't disappoint. He scored 11 points of his 16 points in the game's first seven minutes.
For three quarters, the adrenaline and the crowd's enthusiasm inspired the home team. The Warriors considered this game a "dangerous trap game." For three quarters, the Spurs hung in there.
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GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS
SAN ANTONIO SPURS
They withstood Durant's 19-point third-quarter tear, keeping within striking distance. But there's too much talent, too much speed and too much depth in blue and gold.
The Spurs' defense was caught napping.
McGee's first-half play kept the Warriors from trailing by double-digits. His teammates found him for lobs and for easy assists around the basket.
The Spurs went with a starting lineup of Patty Mills, Jonathon Simmons, Kyle Anderson, Danny Green and LaMarcus Aldridge. It's the first time this season that those five players have started together.
Aldridge needed to step up in the absence of Leonard. Although he played better, his 18 points on 7-of-17 shooting and five boards were not nearly enough.
Ginobili scored 21 points off the bench, the most points he's scored in his last 40 playoff games.
The Spurs were dealt another injury blow early in the game.
Backup big man David Lee exited the game in the first quarter with a left knee injury. He had to be helped off the court and would not return. He converted a layup while being fouled by Green, landing awkwardly. Since he was unable to shoot his free throw, Golden State was allowed to pick who would shoot the freebie.
The Warriors selected seldom-used big man Joel Anthony, who is a career 66-percent shooter from the charity stripe. It worked, as Anthony bricked the shot.
When Durant went off in the third, the majority of his helpings came out of the pick-and-roll with him as the ball handler.
He hit some off-balanced shots, mixed in some backdoor cuts to the baskets off of high-low connections with West, and also dominated the isolation sets. He was feeling it so much in the quarter that he pulled from deep well beyond the arc and buried a 3, plus a foul by Manu Ginobili. The Warriors' lead climbed to 18.
San Antonio chipped at the deficit, but could only score 20 points in the fourth.
Game 4, the potential close out game, is Monday.