The Golden State Warriors defeated the Clippers 129-110 on Friday night, in Los Angeles, clinching the first-round series 4-2. The victory sets up what should be a highly competitive Western Conference Semifinals matchup with the Houston Rockets.
The Clippers got to work early, building an 18-8 first quarter lead, only to lose it as the Warriors would go on to outscore them 27-13 in the final 6:55 of the period. It was a lead that Golden State would build upon throughout the rest of the game.
Leading the way for the Dubs, Kevin Durant put on a spectacular showcase of offensive prowess. The All-Star forward scored 50 points and added six rebounds and five assists. He was hot from three-point land, as well, nailing six of his fourteen attempts from beyond the arc.
Steph Curry and Draymond Green also pitched-in with solid performances. Curry, though he got started late, ended up with 24 points (2-4 3pt), six rebounds, and six assists. Draymond posted a triple-double: 16 points, 14 rebounds, and 10 assists, adding four blocks on the defensive end.
Kevin Durant had himself a night— Golden State Warriors (@warriors) April 27, 2019
🔥 #NBAPlayoffs career-high 50 points
🔥 38 first half points ties Playoff record for most in a first half
🔥 Fourth Warrior to ever score 50+ in a Playoff game
🔥 Eighth player in @NBAHistory to score 45+ points in back-to-back Playoff games pic.twitter.com/15gTQpTaSW
With their first-round series behind them, the Warriors now turn their attention to James Harden, Chris Paul, and the Houston Rockets. Houston took care of business in the first round, dispatching the fifth-seeded Utah Jazz in five games (4-1).
Golden State, as the no. 1 overall seed, will have home-court advantage in this matchup. That fact, however, likely strikes little fear in the hearts of a Houston team that swept the two regular season games played at the Oracle in Oakland. The Rockets won the regular season series 3-1, each game being hotly contested and hard-fought.
The series kicks off this Sunday, in Oakland, where the Warrior-faithful will bring the noise, creating an electric atmosphere. If Golden State can feed off that energy and play up to their potential, they are essentially unbeatable at home. Either way, fans of both teams will be treated to an incredibly competitive matchup between two teams that know each other well, have a healthy disdain for their opponent, and possess enough fire power to put on a show each and every night.