The Blazers were led by Joel Freeland (8 points, 7 rebounds), CJ McCollum (6 points), and Thomas Robinson (5 points, 11 rebounds). They brought more energy than the starters tonight, so they get mentioned at the top tonight. Robin Lopez led the starters, with 10 points and 9 rebounds. The starters looked like they were given sleeping pills and asked to play on flypaper.
First Half: This was your usual back-and-forth half between two 3-and-no-D ball clubs. Lots of gunslinging, plenty of shots near the rim, and nobody able to gain a true advantage. Golden State pulled ahead early, behind Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry, while Aldridge and Lillard struggled. However, the bench again picked up the slack in the second quarter, as they combined for 19 points and 13 rebounds in the half. Portland pulled ahead, but their defense allowed the Warriors to keep it close. Curry nailed a nearly-open ISO three-pointer just before the halftime buzzer.
Portland 55, Golden State 54
Lillard is pressing a bit. Even though NBA players never admit it in interviews, this game is more an important to him than others. Not just another W. However, I am sure he’ll blow it up in the 4th, like always.
Third Quarter: More of the same, including the struggles of Lillard and Aldridge. LaMarcus reached the point where he missed a two-foot hook shot, and that let Golden State turn a 4 point deficit into a 3 point lead. Things inevitably got chippy, as Andrew Bogut shoved Aldridge in the back, after which LaMarcus tossed the basketball at him. Double-technical. From there, the refs tried to regain control, but unfortunately that just led to a bunch of touch fouls against the Blazers, whose starters continued to miss shot after shot. Soon, Portland took a timeout, down 9. They tried to make a run, but were betrayed by multiple turnovers, giving up repeated easy buckets. The Blazers looked like a lottery team through this quarter, finishing with a painful-to-watch 12 points. They were quite happy it was over, when they weren't barking at the referees.
Golden State 76, Portland 67
Fourth Quarter: Golden State opened the quarter with Andre Iguodala hitting a lucky three. In response, Portland went with a Thomas Robinson post-up, which ended predictably. In response, Klay Thompson bounced the ball out of bounds off his head, but the referees gave the ball back to Golden State (despite no Blazer heads being nearby). Thompson promptly scored off the ref error, and the Warrior lead was 14. Aldridge missed again to go 1-12 at the other end. It wasn't a good opening two minutes. After that, all of Golden State's shots started falling, even the ones that bounced off the rim. Soon the Warriors opened a big lead, and the game was effectively over. The Blazers made their inevitable run to cut the lead to single-digits, but it was too little, too late. They now head back to Portland to settle in for a full week of home cooking.
The Blazers have a huge week of rest at home, playing only two games against improving teams, Tuesday vs. Memphis and Saturday vs. Toronto.
Stay tuned tonight for extended analysis from Dave!
Gameday Thread Comments of the Night:
Thanks to everyone who participated in tonight's Gameday Thread! As always, here are the most popular comments, based on the number of Rec's from their fellow fans: