Warriors start play-off bid with easy victory

Golden State Warriors kicked off their NBA play-off series against Houston Rockets this weekend with a comfortable 104-78 victory.

The reigning champions, fresh from setting a new regular season record of 73-9, were never threatened by the Rockets although an ankle injury to star man Steph Curry is a concern ahead of the second game.

Curry bagged 24 points against the Warriors and he is confident he will be in the line-up on Monday.

“Right now I don’t see a scenario I would be out,” Curry said. “Pain tolerance, all that stuff, I kind of know what I can deal with on the court.”

Things got a little heated during the game, with Curry taking exception to Patrick Beverley’s close attention midway through the first quarter.

Both players received technical fouls, although Curry played the incident down after the game.

“It felt it was a little too much, so I protected myself and moved on,” he said.

Elsewehere, San Antonio Spurs took a 1-0 lead in their seven-game series against Memphis Grizzlies after a 106-74 success.

Kawhi Leonard bagged 20 points, while LaMarcus Aldridge added 17 points and Tony Parker had 15 points and six assists for San Antonio.

The Spurs sat their starters in the final quarter to freshen them up for Tuesday night’s second game.

Kyrie Irving and Kevin Love proved Cleveland aren’t a one-man band as they inspired the Cavaliers to a 106-101 victory over the Detroit Pistons.

Irving scored 31 points, while Love added 28 to leave star man LeBron James in their wake.

James grabbed 22 points and with both Irving and Love suffering injuries in last season’s play-offs he was happy to have them by his side against the Pistons.

“For these two guys, they were just excited to get back to this moment,” he said. “These guys have been working hard, Kyrie on his knee, Kevin on his shoulder just to get back to this moment.

“It was great to be out on the floor with them and for them to put together the performance that they did.”

Indiana Pacers, Atlanta Hawks, Oklahoma City Thunder, Miami Heat and Los Angeles Clippers all secured victories in their opening play-off games.

Monday night sees three Game 2 match-ups, with the Warriors facing the Rockets, Thunder meeting the Dallas Mavericks and Toronto Raptors hosting the Pacers.