Dubs blast Spurs again; Heat get hot

  • Written by AFP
  • Published in Basketball
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durant: Unstoppable again. durant: Unstoppable again.

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson handed San Antonio a painful shooting lesson as Golden State took a grip on their Western Conference playoff duel on Monday.

Durant and Thompson both weighed in with 30-point games as the Warriors powered to a 116-101 win that puts the NBA champions 2-0 up in their best-of-seven series.

The Warriors — still missing the injured talisman Stephen Curry — outclassed a physical San Antonio from three-point range in a devastating display of scoring.

Golden State made 15 of 31 attempts from three-point range, contrasting sharply with San Antonio, who could only muster four from 28 attempts.

Spurs coach Gregg Popovich pinpointed his team’s failure to threaten from distance as the principal factor in the loss.

“The ball has to go in the basket,” Popovich said. “That’s the difference in the ball game. They shot 50 percent of threes; we made 14 percent, four of 28 or something. That’s tough to overcome.

“You’ve got to make shots. And it’s been like that the entire year on the road for us, for whatever reason. And it really showed up tonight. That made it very difficult.”

San Antonio started strongly, with LaMarcus Aldridge — who finished with 34 points — driving the Spurs forward as they shaded the first period 25-23.

The visitors continued to rally in the second quarter and had moved into a 53-47 at half-time.

But Golden State’s relentless pressure and offensive variety inevitably began to tell in the second half.

Durant finished with 32 points, six rebounds and six assists while Thompson had 31 points with five assists.

In the Eastern Conference, Dwyane Wade produced a vintage performance as the Miami Heat ended Philadelphia’s 17-game winning streak to level their series 1-1.

Wade, 36, scored 28 points in 25 minutes as Miami stunned the 76ers’ home crowd into silence with a 113-103 victory.

It was a superb display from Wade, a three-time NBA champion who started this season with Cleveland before re-joining Miami in February before the trade deadline.

Wade’s experience proved crucial throughout, inspiring a first-half fightback to wipe out the 76ers’ early lead before shepherding Miami to the win in a nervy finale.

Wade, who also had seven rebounds and three assists, was backed by 20 points from Goran Dragic and 18 points from James Johnson.

“I just came in with an aggressive approach,” Wade said afterwards. “I told myself that whatever minutes I was going to play, I was going to do it aggressively.

“Once the balls start falling for you then it just goes from there.

“I love the stage. I play the game for these moments. To be able to come through for your team when they need you feels good.”

Philadelphia meanwhile were left reflecting on their first loss since early March, jolting their momentum as the series heads to Miami for game three on Thursday.