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Warriors Said They’d Be Ready, Then Dominate Spurs in Game 1

Warriors Said They’d Be Ready, Then Dominate Spurs in Game 1

Rudy Gay led the Spurs with 15 points off the bench. LaMarcus Aldridge was limited to 14 points on 5-for-12 shooting.

“The first quarter we looked like deer in the headlights,” Spurs Coach Gregg Popovich said.

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is Monday night here at Oracle Arena.

The Warriors looked unbeatable again. And that was without the do-everything Curry.

Golden State said all week that it was a new season, then went out and showed it. The Warriors have plans for nothing short of a repeat title.

“We’re a championship ball club,” Green said. “We know what it takes this time a year to win.”

He added: “We’re primed for this. A lot of people tend to forget what we’re capable of. We know.”

Golden State came with the kind of swarming defense it is so used to playing but hadn’t exhibited much lately as rotations were mixed and matched because of injuries and illness.

San Antonio couldn’t keep up from the opening tip.

“We were just very overly excited, overzealous,” San Antonio’s Danny Green said. “Overreacting to a lot of things because we are so excited that we’re in the playoffs and playing, obviously, the best team in the world.”

Beat up and missing its four All-Stars at times, Golden State endured a stretch last month in which it lost seven of 10.

Golden State swept San Antonio in the Western Conference finals a year ago on the way to a second championship in three seasons and an astonishing, record-setting 16-1 postseason run.

Kerr always said his team would be ready when these playoffs came around.

The Warriors were determined to pick up their defense, and they did just that.

Green, Durant and the others quickly closed on shooters and got hands up to alter shots.

The M.V.P. of the 2015 finals, Andre Iguodala, moved into the starting lineup for the 2018 edition of that “Strength in Numbers” mantra — and all those bright yellow T-shirts through the arena were there to back it.

Iguodala, who started just seven games all season before Saturday, had missed four of the final five regular-season games with a sore left knee.

Kerr went with his best defensive unit.

“I thought it was important to re-establish our defense, one way or another, win or lose,” Kerr said. “That’s the reason this is a championship team. It’s the defense that has been the key for this team for years.”

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