The Blazers were led by LaMarcus Aldridge (26 points, 7 rebounds, 2 assists), Wesley Matthews (24 points, most of them late), Nicolas Batum (18 points, 12 rebounds) and Mo Williams (18 points). Stephen Curry was unconscious from the field most of the night, finishing with 47 points.
With this win, the Blazers clinched at least a 5th seed in the Western Conference Playoffs. They still have a shot at the 4th seed, if Houston loses both remaining games and Portland beats the Clippers Wednesday.
It was a rough half for Blazer fans. Physical play was being allowed, and the Warrior bigs were thrilled. Portland was able to pull ahead early, by as many as 9, but Golden State held close. The Warriors defense held down Lillard effectively, as he had one of his worst halves as a pro. Meanwhile, Stephen Curry was having no such trouble against the Blazer defense. Portland held a late lead, only to fall apart minutes before halftime, giving up a 14-2 run in just a couple minutes to fall behind by 8, and head to the locker room looking for answers.
They came out to a similar start to the second half, with an immediate turnover for a Warriors layup. Finally, the Blazers came alive, getting inspired on a 25-8 run to build a 10 point lead. But just like that, the Warriors went nuts, and the game turned into a barnburner. They hit three-pointers on four consecutive possessions, and scored 16 points in six possessions overall, to tie the game at the 4:30 mark. It might have been worse if not for a hot streak by Mo Williams to counter. The Blazers still led by 1 with two minutes left, when an out of bounds play went Golden State's way.
Curry, near-automatic all night, quickly have the Warriors the lead, but Matthews restored the Blazer lead with two free throws. Curry finally missed a three, but Portland committed a terrible pass-out-of-bounds turnover with 54 seconds left. Klay Thompson made the Blazers pay for the error with a jumper. Aldridge missed at the other end, but got his own rebound and was fouled. He calmly hit both free throws with 24.7 seconds left, and the Warriors took control of the ball with a chance to win. They went to Curry, who drove and missed a layup, and Matthews was fouled on the rebound with 12.5 seconds left. He hit both, but Draymond Green hit a three-pointer with 3 seconds left to tie the game. Portland had one last chance, and went to Matthews, who missed a three pointer at the buzzer.
In overtime, Batum immediately took a fadeaway three, and nailed it. After the Warriors hit a free throw, a Lopez jumper made it a 4 point Blazer lead. Thompson cut it to two with a layup, and Aldridge badly missed a jumper. But the Warriors turned it over in response. Only 90 seconds had passed in overtime, as the action was fast. Batum missed two free throws, and off an offensive rebound, Matthews missed a three-pointer as the crowd groaned. Thompson missed at the other end, but it magically bounced to Curry for three. Swish, and the Warriors took the lead with 2:30 left.
At the other end, Batum tossed a nice pass to Matthews on the drive who was fouled, and tossed the ball to the hoop as he fell down... and banked it in. A free throw gave Portland a 2 point lead. At the other end, Thompson hit another three, and the Warriors took back the lead with 2 minutes left. The Blazers turned the ball over, and Lillard blocked Thompson's jumper. Aldridge lost the ball, got it back, passed it to Matthews, for three.... brick.... straight up in the air... and it swished into the hoop. Wow. The Blazers took a 1 point lead. Golden State got it to Thompson at the other end for three... swish. They took back the lead. So the Blazers went to Aldridge for a long jumper with 40 seconds left... swish! Portland led by 1 with 39 seconds left, and 4 minutes and 21 seconds of insanity.
Out of the timeout, Curry took a fadeway over Aldridge... and missed with 27 seconds left. Portland slowed down play, and Lillard drove down the middle... the layup rimmed out, but the refs called a foul on Thompson, his sixth. Lillard only hit one of two, and the Warriors took control down two with 7.5 seconds left. But Thompson had fouled out. They gave it to Curry, who handed it to Andre Iguodala... who missed a three! The Blazers grabbed the board and celebrated one of the biggest victories of their season!
Two full days off for the Blazers, and their final game of the regular season, a home game against the Los Angeles Clippers that may not matter for either team.
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