Playing at Oracle Arena for the first time this preseason, the Warriors got the home crowd on their feet early and often on their way to a 120-75 victory over the Clippers on Tuesday night.
Playing at Oracle Arena for the first time this preseason, the Warriors got the home crowd on their feet early and often as the Dubs built an insurmountable lead in the first half and carried it to a 120-75 victory over the Clippers on Tuesday night. Klay Thompson led all scorers with 30 points on 14 shots, including six three-pointers, while Kevin Durant produced a superb all-around effort, compiling 21 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and two blocks in just 25 minutes. With the victory, the Warriors even their preseason record at 1-1.
Steve Kerr has insisted that it will take some time for the Warriors, whose roster is nearly half comprised of new players, to work their way into form, but based solely on their performance on Tuesday night, perhaps it won’t take as long as initially believed. Kevin Durant scored the game’s opening three points off an assist from Stephen Curry, and from there the Warriors never trailed at any point in the contest, thanks in large part to an 18-2 run spanning the middle six minutes of the opening frame, which turned a 7-5 lead into a 35-19 rout at the end of one. Things could have looked considerably worse for the Clippers if not for Marreese Speights, who scored a team-high 10 points in the first quarter in his first game back against his old squad.
If Los Angeles had any chance of making it a competitive game, that chance faded away with a dominant second quarter by the Warriors. Klay Thompson, who led Golden State with 10 points in the opening frame despite sitting out the final three minutes, returned to the court to begin the second, and picked up right where he left off. His layup opened the scoring in the quarter, and he’d add 12 more points before halftime, giving him 24 points and four three-pointers heading into the second half. Durant wasn’t far behind, equaling Thompson’s perfect 4-of-4 line from the charity stripe in the quarter on his way to 11 points in the frame. By the time the teams headed into their respective locker rooms at halftime, Golden State had more than doubled the Clippers’ score, leading 71-33.
Things wouldn’t get much better for Los Angeles in the second half, as the Warriors’ dominant performance persisted. Stephen Curry’s three-pointer with 6:50 remaining in the third quarter capped Golden State’s 18-3 run to begin the frame and gave the Warriors their largest lead of the entire night at 89-36. Durant, Curry and Draymond Green were pulled from the game immediately after, as the Dubs’ reserves rounded out the final quarter-plus. The Clippers would actually win the fourth quarter, outscoring Golden State 24-18 in the final frame, but it was not nearly enough to overcome the Warriors’ gigantic advantage. With the victory, Golden State evens up their preseason record at 1-1 and will next host the Sacramento Kings in San Jose on Thursday.