In Toronto, Serge Ibaka had 23 points and 12 rebounds, Delon Wright scored 11 of his 18 points in the fourth quarter, and the Raptors snapped a 10-game losing streak in playoff series openers by beating Washington.
The Warriors were weapons-grade plutonium Saturday afternoon at Oracle Arena.
The Warriors went with a starting five of Andre Iguodala, Klay Thompson, Kevin Durant, Draymond Green and JaVale McGee, leading to questions about how the unit might function without a traditional point guard. Curry, whose 51 games this regular season were his fewest since 2011-12, averaged 26.4 points, 6.1 assists, 5.1 rebounds and 1.6 steals.
Now, the Warriors lead the best-of-seven series 1-0. "We know what it takes this time of year in order to win. I thought we didn't play as ourselves".More news: Memo warning Apple employees about leaking gets leaked to the me
"At the end of the season, I think we were thinking too far down the line and worrying about the playoffs when we should have been worrying about today", Kevin Durant said in his postgame interview about the Warriors flipping the switch. "We wanted to get back to that, regardless of what everyone is saying: The Warriors have lost it, they are not together, they can't win without Steph, they're not the same team..."
"We did not end the season on a high note", Warriors guard Klay Thompson said. So we're primed for this.
"We had a lot of juices flowing, adrenaline, rushing", Green said. We kind of hobbled into the playoffs, but we know how talented we are and how good we are.More news: Millions Of Eggs Recalled Over Possible Salmonella Contamination
After Saturday's victory, Warriors players were quick to remind everyone of their championship pedigree.
At least one person pointed out that despite Golden State's Stephen Curry's knee injury, he was on the bench supporting his team. As a result, he will intensify his on-court rehabilitation in the coming days, which will include more running and lateral movement. Meaning he might play in Game 4 if his knee passes the examination and if the Warriors need him.
Game 1 can be summed up pretty simply: the moves that Popovich made simply didn't work. But they could have options. The Spurs, meanwhile, once again will be without Kawhi Leonard, who still is suffering from a calf injury. They play at the league's third-slowest pace and grind teams down on the offensive end with their mid-range and post-heavy attack.
Most recently, Pop said Leonard was with his "group" in NY, per Tom Orsborn of the San Antonio Express-News. That explains why the Warriors stressed that concept when Curry missed 11 games in December with a sprained right ankle. The Warriors expect he will not return.More news: Varun Dhawan's Dan comes from a special place
So, the Warriors do not have a definitive center to counter the Spurs' size. Would we see "the Warriors" in their full, domineering glory now that the "real season" was starting?