It took longer than what they would have liked, but the Golden State Warriors are out of the first round.
The Warriors flew past the Los Angeles Clippers 129-110 in Game 6 on Friday night at the Staples Center, closing out their series 4-2 to advance to the Western Conference semifinals.
The blowout win, however, wouldn’t have been possible without Kevin Durant.
Durant owned the first half, who seemed to be doing everything in his power to end the series for the Warriors.
Durant dropped 15 points in the first quarter, and then followed it up with the first 13 points for the Warriors in the second quarter. There was absolutely nothing the Clippers could do to stop him.
By the end of the half, Durant had put up 38 points after shooting 12-of-17 from the field — marking his career-high in a single half just one point shy of setting the NBA record for points scored in a single half in the postseason.
His offensive burst sparked a massive run by the Warriors in the second quarter, too, who closed the half on a 21-9 run to grab a 19-point lead at the break.
From there, it was smooth sailing to the end for Golden State. The Warriors pushed the lead to 26 at one point in the third quarter while cruising to the 19-point win.
Durant — who dropped 45 points in their Game 5 loss on Wednesday — finished with a playoff career-high 50 points, six rebounds and five assists, having shot 15-of-26 from the field.
“That was one of the great performances I’ve ever seen in my life, and I’ve seen some good ones. I’ve been around some decent players,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said after the game. “He just carried us these last couple games of the series. He’s the ultimate weapon because there’s no defense for Kevin. No matter what anybody does, he can get a good shot.
“He knew we needed him badly. He just took over the game in the first half and set a great tone.”
Stephen Curry finished with 24 points, and Draymond Green finished with a triple-double with 16 points, 14 rebounds and 10 assists.
Danilo Gallinari led the Clippers with 29 points and five rebounds, shooting 11-of-24 from the field. Shai Gilgeous-Alexander dropped 22 points, and Patrick Beverley finished with a double-double with 11 points and 14 rebounds.
The Warriors will now move on to the Western Conference semifinals with the win, and will take on the Houston Rockets on Sunday in a rematch of last year’s Western Conference Finals. The Rockets beat the Utah Jazz 4-1 in their opening-round playoff series, which ended on Wednesday night.
“We know Houston is a phenomenal team whose been waiting for us, whose ready to play us, who had a great first round,” Durant said. “It should be a great battle between two great teams. Basketball is at the highest peak when us two teams get on the court.”
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