NBA·ROUNDUP

Durant, Warriors dominate Clippers from opening tip

Kevin Durant scored 38 points, Stephen Curry added 21 playing with five fouls, and the Golden State Warriors dominated from the opening tip to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 132-105 Thursday night and take a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

Golden State forward pours in 38 points in Game 3 win

Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant, left, posts up against Patrick Beverley of the Los Angeles Clippers during the first half at Staples Center on Thursday in Los Angeles. (Yong Teck Lim/Getty Images)

Kevin Durant scored 38 points, Stephen Curry added 21 playing with five fouls, and the Golden State Warriors dominated from the opening tip to beat the Los Angeles Clippers 132-105 Thursday night and take a 2-1 lead in their first-round playoff series.

The Warriors began the game on a 22-9 tear and went on to shoot 73% from the floor in the first, taking the crowd out of it early.

Durant was perfect, making all five of his field goals and both free throws for 12 points. He and Curry picked up two fouls each, but the Warriors still built a 19-point lead.

Kevon Looney, again filling in for injured DeMarcus Cousins, shot 4 for 4 in the first, dunking three times in a row.

Game 4 is Sunday at Staples Center.

The Clippers won Game 2 on the road after trailing by 31 points in the third quarter, stunning the Warriors with the largest comeback in NBA playoff history.

But they couldn't find the basket this time, shooting 37% from the floor.

Their only starter in double figures was rookie Ivica Zubac, who finished with 18 points after playing most of the fourth. Patrick Beverley, a defensive pest in Game 2, was limited to six points, four fouls, one rebound and no assists in 18 minutes.

Lou Williams had 16 points, and Montrezl Harrell and JaMychal Green added 15 each off the bench.

Los Angeles never led and failed to put together any kind of sustained run.

Golden State's biggest run came in the third at the same time Curry was whistled for his fourth foul. The Warriors scored 14 straight points to lead 88-57. Durant and Green got hit with offsetting technicals during the spurt. Durant laughed it off and sank a jumper from the left corner seconds later.

The Warriors extended the margin to 35 on Alfonzo McKinnie's three-pointer late in the period.

Durant had 27 points at halftime when the Warriors led 73-52.

Derrick White leads Spurs past Nuggets

Derrick White had a career-high 36 points and the San Antonio Spurs beat the Denver Nuggets 118-108, withstanding a first-half lapse to take a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

Nikola Jokic had 22 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for Denver.

Game 4 is Saturday in San Antonio, where the Spurs are 3-0 against the Nuggets this season.

White attacked Nuggets point guard Jamal Murray from the opening tip after being on the receiving end of Murray's career outing Tuesday night. Murray had only six points, a game after scoring 21 of his 24 points in the fourth quarter to help Denver overcome a 19-point deficit to even the series.

White set his career high after being fouled by Paul Millsap on a driving layup that bounced off the side of the rim, hit the backboard and fell in to give the Spurs a 99-89 lead with 8:52 remaining. White added five rebounds, five assists and three steals while shooting 12 for 17. The point guard matched his overall career high with 26 points in the first half.

DeMar DeRozan took over after that, scoring 21 of his 25 points in the second half. LaMarcus Aldridge added 18 points and 11 rebounds, and Rudy Gay had 11 points and 10 rebounds.

Sixers take care of business without Embiid

Ben Simmons scored a career playoff-high 31 points, Tobias Harris added 29 points and 16 rebounds and the Philadelphia 76ers shook off the absence of Joel Embiid to beat the Brooklyn Nets 131-115 night for a 2-1 lead in the first-round series.

Without their All-Star man in the middle, the 76ers relied on Simmons slashing to the basket, and Harris and JJ Redick shooting from the perimeter.

Simmons was 11 for 13 from the field, repeatedly getting to the rim even with the Nets sagging well off him in hopes he would shoot a jumper. He added nine assists and eventually quieted a crowd that loudly booed him every time he touched the ball early.

Harris had his playoff highs in both points and rebounds, and was 6 for 6 from three-point range. Redick was 5 of 9 behind the arc and finished with 26 points.

Embiid warmed up before the game but the 76ers announced shortly before the start that the All-Star centre wouldn't be available because of a sore left knee. Greg Monroe started in his place and had nine points and 13 rebounds.

D'Angelo Russell and Caris LeVert each scored 26 points for the Nets, who have dropped the last two games after surprising the No. 3 seed in the opener in Philadelphia.

Energized by a lively Brooklyn crowd seeing playoff basketball for the first time since 2015 and perhaps by the absence of Embiid, who averaged 22.5 points and 12.5 rebounds in the first two games, the Nets started well but then stalled. They went about 4 1/2 minutes without a basket and Philadelphia took advantage to lead 32-24 after one.

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