NBA Playoffs: Washington Wizards, Golden State Warriors register wins
Golden State Warriors and Washington Wizards commenced their respective semi-final campaigns on a winning note.
The Golden State Warriors were imperious as they registered a thumping 101-86 win against the Memphis Grizzlies in the first game of the Western Conference semi-finals.
A week’s rest seemed not to have adversely affected the form of the Golden State Warriors, who were ruthless in the game against Grizzlies. Warriors’ Stephen Curry was the star of the show with 22 points while his teammates Klay Thomson and Draymond Green also stepped up for an important game, scoring 18 and 16 points respectively.
Although Marc Gasol and Zach Randolph turned in inspiring performances for the Memphis Grizzlies, they proved woefully inadequate against a seemingly flawless Warriors unit.
That the Warriors shot as much as 50.6 percent of their points from the field illustrates the dominance with which they played. At the end of the first half, the Warriors led 61-52, and began the second half on an aggressive note, cruising to a 72-56 lead.
Wizards overwhelm Hawks
Meanwhile, the Washington Wizards registered a comprehensive 104-98 win against the top seeds, Atlanta Hawks, in the Eastern Conference semi-final.
The Atlanta Hawks, who survived a close shave in the first round of the playoffs against Brooklyn Nets, despite starting as the favourite courtesy of their top billing, looked far from it, with the Wizards dictating the proceedings and the pace of the game from the outset.
Lead Guard John Wall produced a sterling performance, scoring 18 points and providing 13 assists, for the Wizards. Guard Bradley Beal also turned in an impressive performance with 28 points. A sprained right ankle forced him to retire in the fourth quarter although he subsequently returned to the match.
Wizards, who have earned plaudits from all quarters this season for their tight defence showed why they were rated fifth in that department, as they restricted the Hawks to just 37 percent shooting. The Hawks, on the other hand, were unable to play their natural offensive game, as the Wizards, with clinical efficiency, controlled the game.
Atlanta Hawks’ swingman Kyle Korver, on whom a lot of hopes were riding, scored 15 points. However, he seemed a far cry from his dominant self, as he took as many as 13 shots to score them.