Golden State Warriors show depth in NBA playoffs win without Curry
OAKLAND, California (AP):
As Stephen Curry emphatically waved his arms to ignite the crowd and coached from the bench when he could do little else, Klay Thompson and the Golden State Warriors' supporting cast proved they can win on the playoff stage without their NBA most valuable player.
They would rather have him, of course, but the defending champions have believed in their depth all along. Golden State played short-handed down the stretch of the regular season on the way to a record 73 wins.
"We've relied on our depth all year, not just when Steph's out," Draymond Green said. "I think we're the deepest team in the NBA."
Thompson scored 34 points and dished out five assists as the Warriors held off the Houston Rockets 115-106 on Monday night to take a 2-0 lead in their playoff series despite no Curry, sidelined because of an injured right ankle.
The Mavericks levelled their Western Conference play-off series 1-1 by edging the Thunder 85-84, with a putback at the buzzer by Oklahoma City's Steven Adams that would have won the game was disallowed upon review.
In the Eastern Conference playoffs, Toronto ended their postseason losing streak at seven games with a 98-87 win over the Pacers to level their series 1-1.
At Oakland, Curry cut short his pre-game warm-up routine after appearing to be in discomfort as he was shooting while putting little pressure on the tender ankle.
"Ahh, it's so much easier without him out there," Thompson said. "I think we showed it's hard to fill that void. No one's going to do it by themselves."
Andre Iguodala, last year's Finals MVP, added 18 points with four three-pointers and Green had 12 points, 14 rebounds and eight assists. He didn't commit a turnover in 39 minutes, his longest stretch without one in the regular season or play-offs.
Now, Curry has until tomorrow's Game Three in Houston to get healthy. But the Warriors aren't going to push it.
"We want to make sure Steph is right and that his foot is fine and healthy," coach Steve Kerr said.
James Harden had 28 points and 11 assists to lead the Rockets, losers of six straight and 14 of 15 to Golden State. He made 13 of 15 free throws after not attempting one in the opener.
Harden considered it a missed opportunity.
"Yeah, for sure. We just didn't do enough to get a win," he said.