SportsPulse: Kevin Durant and the Warriors in any case completed off the Clippers to advance to a miles expected second-round matchup with in opposition to the Rockets.
LOS ANGELES — Kevin Durant had not more persistence for missteps, no time for sentimentality, no want to let the Los Angeles Clippers proceed their fairytale presence in those playoffs and left undoubtedly that used to be able to transport ahead into the juiciest matchup of this NBA postseason.
Durant unloaded at the Clippers at Staples Heart on Friday evening, piling on 38 issues within the first part because the Golden State Warriors constructed up a lead they might by no means relinquish on easy methods to a 129-110 Sport 6 victory.
In sealing the collection and putting in place a mouthwatering rematch with the Houston Rockets that begins on Sunday, Durant ended up with 50 — a playoff occupation prime — however greater than any statistic, his number one impact used to be to as soon as once more lay down a marker.
Warriors ahead Kevin Durant (35) celebrates with ahead Draymond Inexperienced (23) all the way through Sport 6 in opposition to the Clippers. (Photograph: Kirby Lee, USA TODAY Sports activities)
With him on shape, the Warriors glance extra unstoppable than ever. The Rockets performed remarkable basketball to return inside of a whisker of thrashing Golden State in closing 12 months’s Western Convention finals. If Durant is in this type of temper, they’ll want to do even higher this time.
Stephen Curry (24 issues) used to be the one different Warrior to most sensible 20, as a sequence that used to be intended to be so one-sided that Vegas priced it at 100:1, got here to a conclusion after a few weeks’ value of vastly entertaining and aggressive drama.
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The Warriors turned up the heat when it mattered and the Clippers did not have a final flurry left in them, losing at home for the third time in three attempts but managing two mightily impressive victories at Oracle Arena.
Danilo Gallinari topped the scoring for Los Angeles with 25 points, but this was never a close contest once Golden State eased ahead 72-53 at the half.
Keeping pace with the two-time defending champions requires an unceasing diet of skill, persistence and luck — plus the complicity of the Warriors happening to have an off night. This wasn’t one of those, not with Durant setting the tone in a performance that was as much a signal of intent as anything else.
By the end, even the animosity that sometimes punctuated the series had dissipated, with Durant and his nemesis Patrick Beverley hugging it out at courtside after the buzzer.
And so we move on. The Rockets have had two days extra rest. The Warriors have home court advantage. The Rockets have James Harden and his addiction to heavy scoring. The Warriors have Durant and a whole lot more.
The postseason has been unpredictable already and the matchup that awaits is impossible to predict. Except to say with certainty that if Durant keeps his mind in the game like this, it will be well worth watching.
Follow Rogers on Twitter @RogersJourno.