The Los Angeles Clippers pushed the Golden State Warriors to the brink in the first round, with a hard-fought six-game series.
It took a 50-point masterpiece from Kevin Durant to eventually shut things down in Game 6, but with the in-form Houston Rockets waiting in the second round, could the Warriors have asked for a better preparation?
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According to point guard Steph Curry, although it was a battle, it was the battle they needed.
"Honestly, these two games felt like it was two months in terms of all the different adjustments and emotional roller-coaster, from Game 2, their comeback to losing Game 5 and how we've bounced back in between, Curry said post-game. "So [they] tested us, they played amazing, really made us have to raise our level of play and tonight we did that.
"We talk about it all the time like every playoff series in order to win, whether its a sweep, whether it's in 5, 6 or 7 it's tough and every game is hard and we needed that test to understand what it's going to be like the rest of the way."
"We needed this test."- NBA TV (@NBATV) April 27, 2019
Steph shares what experiences from this series does for them moving forward.#NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/B6IsEMOy9B
The Clippers stunned the Warriors twice at Oracle Arena, forcing adjustments along the way, and in Game 6 they turned up the heat on the defensive end, playing one of their best defensive games of the season as they shut down Lou Williams and Montrezl Harrell, two players who had carried the Clippers offensively through the first five games.
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"I like the way we responded when it was necessary and for us the biggest lesson is obviously try and take care of home court better than we have," Curry added.
"Our defence usually wins games for us and games two and five we were terrible on the defensive end and we lost and the rest of them we were solid and made them work and we won, so it's pretty simple at that point."