The Golden State Warriors got their NBA postseason off to the exact start everyone expected them to with a 121-104 win over the Los Angeles Clippers.
Golden State are favourites to win this series, and while the Clippers were pesky throughout the game, the Warriors were just too much for them.
Stephen Curry was fantastic with 38 points on 11-of-16 shooting including eight of 12 from three-point range, and he also managed to add 15 rebounds and seven assists for good measure.
The sixth-seeded Brooklyn Nets took down the third-seeded Philadelphia 76ers in Game 1 of their first-round series at Wells Fargo Center, claiming a 111-102 victory.
The 76ers have what is arguably the second most talented starting line-up in basketball, but they could not defend against the pick and roll or win a shootout against the Nets.
Brooklyn’s star point guard D’Angelo Russell was ice-cold to start the game, but ended up posting a team-high 26 points. He connected on two of his team’s 11 three-pointers, while the 76ers were a lowly three for 25 from deep.
Philadelphia’s star center Joel Embiid was listed as questionable leading up to the contest, but decided to suit up. Even though he clearly was not at his best, he totalled 22 points, 15 rebounds and five blocks.
But it was Jimmy Butler’s 36 points that kept the 76ers within reach of a win.
Brooklyn will have a chance to go up 2-0 against Philadelphia on Monday, and the 76ers will be feeling the pressure after their own fans booed them during their losing effort.
This was not the only upset of opening day in this year’s postseason, though, as the Orlando Magic knocked off the Toronto Raptors 104-101 at Scotiabank Arena.
Seventh-seeded Orlando have been one the NBA’s best teams since the All-Star break, but not many expected this.
D.J. Augustin led the Magic, tying Kawhi Leonard for a game-high of 25 points in the matchup. He also went on a personal 5-0 run to seal the deal for his team down the stretch on the road.
Orlando got out to an impressive first-half lead, but saw it dissolve in an instant. Even still, their gritty style helped them to a big win.
The final upset of the night was secured by the San Antonio Spurs, who beat the Denver Nuggets 101-96 to cap off Saturday.
Despite Nikola Jokic becoming the fourth player ever to record a triple-double in his first playoff game, the second seed fell to the well-rounded offensive attack of the Spurs.
LeVert stars for Nets, Siakam leads Raptors
Caris LeVert erupted for 23 points off the bench in the Nets’ win.
Pascal Siakam racked up 24 points and nine rebounds for the Raptors.
Redick and Lowry struggle
JJ Redick scored just five points on two-of-seven shooting and fouled out in the 76ers’ loss.
Kyle Lowry recorded a goose egg in the scoring column and was zero of seven from the field for Toronto.
Birch and Butler turn it on
Khem Birch turned a deflection into an alley-oop slam for the Magic.
Butler hit a huge three-pointer to beat the buzzer before the half to cut the 76ers’ deficit to single digits.
Spurs guard Derrick White unloaded on Paul Milsap in San Antonio’s win.
Philadelphia 76ers 102-111 Brooklyn Nets
Toronto Raptors 101-104 Orlando Magic
Golden State Warriors 121-104 Los Angeles Clippers
Denver Nuggets 96-101 San Antonio Spurs
Pacers at Celtics
Despite losing its star player Victor Oladipo to a season-ending leg injury, the Indiana Pacers have been consistently competitive against the Boston Cetlics. The Celtics have struggled to find their chemistry throughout the season and could seriously be tested against the Pacers. This series could legitimately go seven games before a winner is determined.