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NBA Playoffs 2018: Rejuvenated Warriors silence doubters with Game 1 throttling of Spurs … at least for now

NBA Playoffs 2018: Rejuvenated Warriors silence doubters with Game 1 throttling of Spurs … at least for now

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Western conference playoff prediction

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OAKLAND, California — If there really is such thing as a playoff switch, the Warriors just flipped it so hard they nearly broke the darn thing off the wall.

From the opening whistle of their 113-92 win in Game 1 of their first-round playoff series against the San Antonio Spurs, Golden State played harder, faster and smarter than it did over the lethargic last two months of the regular season — a stretch that caused some fans and analysts to have serious doubts about the champs’ ability to make a fourth straight NBA Finals appearance, particularly without Stephen Curry on the floor.

But on Saturday, the Oracle crowd exploded after a Kevin Durant-to-JaVale McGee alley-oop less than four minutes into the game, and it was clear that this was a focused, refreshed Golden State squad.

“We did not end the season on a high note,” Warriors guard Klay Thompson said after the game. “We kind of hobbled into the playoffs, but we know how talented we are and how good we are. We have been here before in the postseason and know what it takes to win.”

Against a Spurs team which has excelled in execution and effort since Gregg Popovich took over…

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