LOS ANGELES (AP) — Kevin Durant is setting the tone for the Golden State Warriors. Get him the ball and watch him work.
Durant scored 38 of his playoff career-high 50 points in the first half, Draymond Green had a triple-double, and Golden State dominated in closing out the Los Angeles Clippers 129-110 Friday night to win their first-round series 4-2.
“I scored 50 points but I missed some good shots,” Durant said. “I thought I could have made a few more.”
The Warriors advanced to the Western Conference semifinals and will face the Houston Rockets beginning Sunday in a rematch of last year’s conference finals. That’s when Houston let a 3-2 lead slip away and the Warriors went on to win their second straight NBA championship.
“They’re similar to the Clippers,” Golden State’s Andrew Bogut said. “They run the pick-and-roll and we’ll need to be disciplined to beat them.”
Golden State found itself in the unfamiliar position of trying to win a third road game in a playoff series for the first time in franchise history. Durant made his mark early with 38 points that tied for the second-most points in a half in a playoff game.