Game 2 Preview: Warriors vs. Clippers

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DEFEND WARRIORS GROUND
A clear tone was set Game 1 of the best-of-seven series between the Warriors and Clippers, and though they came away with the win, the Dubs will look to improve in certain areas to prepare for Game 2. Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant continued their season-long strong play over Los Angeles, yet Klay Thompson, who struggled against the Clippers during the season, did so once again Saturday finishing with 12 points on 5-of-14 shooting. Additionally, the Warriors handed the ball over early with several uncontested, easy turnovers in some communication miscues. Yet after posting multiple scoring runs and a group effort in out-rebounding the Clippers in Game 1, the Warriors hope to have a repeat performance of their strong team play Monday night.

LAST TIME OUT
The Dubs downed the Clippers in the first game at home 121-104. Curry made eight shots from beyond the arc, passing Ray Allen for the all-time NBA record for career threes made in the playoffs, en route to 38 points. Durant also added 23 points to go with three blocks for the team. » Full Recap

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE

Playoff Ranks
GSW LAC
57-25 48-34
1st in West 8th in West
PTS: 121.0 (1st) PTS: 104.0 (3rd)
REB: 53.0 (1st) REB: 40.0 (8th)
AST: 31.0 (1st) AST: 24.0 (3rd)

LAST GAME'S STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and DeMarcus Cousins
LAC: Patrick Beverley, Landry Shamet, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Danilo Gallinari and Ivica Zubac

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES
GSW: Damian Jones (left pectoral surgery) is out. Shaun Livingston (left knee soreness) is questionable. Team Notes
LAC: None. Team Notes

CURRY STARTS WITH A BANG
Curry seemingly has a knack for starting the Warriors’ playoffs on the right foot. Saturday’s 38 point outburst, which included a playoff career high 15 rebounds, was well above his playoff career average 26 points from seasons prior, but all of his first appearances in the playoffs are high-scoring affairs. Dating back to the 2015 playoffs, Curry has averaged 29 points in the first game of the first round, including a 34-point performance against the New Orleans Pelicans in 2015. In 2018, he missed the first round due to injury and didn’t make his first appearance of those playoffs until the second game of the second round; in Curry-like fashion, he came out firing and posted 28 points in his return. There is something about hitting the court for the first time that fuels Curry and drives him to motivate the Dubs early in those playoff series.

TEAM PLAYOFF LEADERS

GSW LAC
PTS: Curry (38.0) PTS: Harrell (26.0)
REB: Curry (15.0) REB: Gallinari (8.0)
AST: Green (7.0) AST: Williams (9.0)

L.A. CLIPPERS SCOUTING REPORT
The Clippers played to their strengths in Game 1, leaning heavily on Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Lou Williams, and Montrezl Harrell to carry the scoring load; the four of them combined for 74 of the team’s 104 points in the game. Though the Warriors held Gallinari and Gilgeous-Alexander to 30 percent shooting from the field, the two of them were able to make up for it from beyond the arc as they both finished with six treys on 50 percent from deep. Gallinari has been a more-than-capable perimeter shooter throughout his career, and the rookie Gilgeous-Alexander has had hot stretches from deep throughout the season too, so they may look for a chance to exploit more of these opportunities if given to them by the Warriors. With 25 points and nine assists, Williams continued his campaign for Sixth Man of the Year with an efficient shooting night, while Harrell’s speed, size, and athleticism made any Dubs defender put on him work throughout the night Saturday. Though these four Clippers showed flashes of brilliance and gave the Warriors trouble at times, the rest of the Clippers combined for 21.4 percent (6-for-28) shooting and the team will likely seek more contributions from the rest of their roster.

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