Kevin Durant had 32 points and 10 rebounds in his Golden State playoff debut, Stephen Curry scored 29 points, and the Warriors withstood a sensational day by Portland duo CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard to beat the Trail Blazers 121-109 on Sunday in Oakland, California, in Game 1 of the first-round series.
McCollum scored a playoff career-best 41 points, and Lillard had 34, but the Warriors made the crucial big plays on both ends down the stretch with Portland playing without injured center Jusuf Nurkic.
Draymond Green contributed 19 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists and five blocked shots to help last season’s second-place team take the first step in what it is counting on to be a championship run.
Durant shot 12 for 20, showing no issues with a recent left knee injury that sidelined him 19 games before he returned for the final three regular-season contests with the NBA-best Warriors. He patted his chest after two straight fourth-quarter baskets and said, “I got this!”
Game 2 is Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.
Houston 118, Oklahoma City 87: James Harden scored 37 points to outshine Russell Westbrook and the Rockets pulled away in the third quarter and coasted to a victory over the Thunder in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series.
The best-of-seven Western Conference series continues Wednesday night in Houston.
The third-seeded Rockets were up by 20 when Harden came off the bench with about seven minutes remaining. He went right to work – making two 3-pointers to power 10-0 run and push the lead to 110-80 with 4 1/2 minutes left. Harden, who along with Westbrook is a front-runner for MVP, went to the bench after that and both teams cleared their benches soon after that.
Westbrook had 22 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, but made just six of 23 shots and had nine turnovers for the sixth-seeded Thunder.
Washington 114, Atlanta 107: John Wall scored a playoff career-high 32 points and Markieff Morris added 21 in his NBA postseason debut to help the Wizards beat the Hawks in Washington in Game 1.
Wall scored 15 points in the third quarter and finished with 14 assists. Bradley Beal had 22 points, and the Wizards got enough from their top players to offset 25 points from Atlanta’s Dennis Schroder and 19 from Paul Millsap. Dwight Howard had 14 rebounds but just seven points.
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Washington.
Chicago 106, Boston 102: Jimmy Butler had 30 points and nine rebounds and the Bulls outlasted the Celtics in Boston during Game 1 on an emotional night for grieving Boston star Isaiah Thomas.
Playing a day after 22-year-old sister Chyna Thomas was killed in a car accident in their home state of Washington, Thomas led the top-seeded Celtics with 33 points.
Butler scored 23 points in the second half. Bobby Portis finished with 19 for the Bulls.
Al Horford had 19 points, eight assists and seven rebounds for Boston.
Game 2 is Tuesday night in Boston.
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