It's the continuation of a first round Western Conference playoff series in the city by the bay.The San Antonio Spurs, seeded seventh, play Game 2 of their best of seven set with the second-seeded Golden State Warriors Monday night.
"Absolutely", Klay Thompson said about playing a memorable, statement-making Game One. But while they are expected to ultimately advance over the team they swept in the West finals a year ago, it may not be quite as easy this time around. "He was penetrating as well", Durant said.
And so, the long and antsy wait for the anticipated and projected Warriors vs. Houston Rockets showdown in the West began in earnest Saturday when the Warriors breezed from jump ball to buzzer against San Antonio, and also torpedoed the notion that they're somehow vulnerable (at least for now).
Two-time MVP Stephen Curry, who has been sidelined since March 23 with a sprained left knee, did not play in the opening game of the seven-game series. The Golden State Warriors are allowing 40.9 percent shooting from deep and are grabbing 51 rebounds per game.
"We're a championship ball club", Green told reporters after the victory, per ESPN's Chris Haynes.
"We finally got back to defending the way we have, the way this team has for many years, even before I got here", said Steve Kerr, in his fourth season as the Warriors' coach. "We're primed for this. I think we've got a lot of experience in the playoffs".
But Pop knew he was going to get dumb questions after Game 1 and just wasn't looking forward to it. "At the end of the season, our minds weren't on it". I overruled them and so I let him stay, because he's wonderful and of course we trust him.
"Today they were on the present".
These guys had been holding out on us - save for a few games in December and one in February - since October! The Warriors have won six straight playoff openers.
"It's big for us. As I said, we looked like deer in the headlights". "Now we're just going to try to continue to build on that".
After the Warriors were blown out by the Utah Jazz 119-79 on Tuesday in their final game of the season, Durant discussed the team's rough sledding to finish.
Manu Ginobili hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer to end the first quarter, which did its part to partially salvage an absolutely brutal beginning for the Spurs.
"It's out of the way now", DeMar DeRozan said of the streak. Lowry contributed 11 points and nine assists. When they revealed the lineup, it contained surprises: JaVale McGee was the starting center, and Andre Iguodala was the starting point guard, along with the usual starters - Durant, Thompson and Green.
The Warriors now lead the series 1-0, and while Gregg Popovich will make adjustments, it's hard to imagine what he could do with the players at his disposal that would change the outcome of this series with the way the Warriors have dialed in.