Three games into the year, the Portland Trail Blazers are not quite running at full volume. It showed as the Golden State Warriors benefited from key calls and clutch shooting to win Sunday night at Moda Center.
For the second game in a row, the Blazers started the game ice cold from the field. Aldridge shot 1-of-6, Lillard was 1-of-5, Lopez was 1-of-4, and Batum was scoreless. Overall, the Blazers shot 26% from the field, including missing multiple open shots. On defense Klay Thompson got to do what he pleased, shooting 6-of-12 for 15 points. Overall, the Warriors led by eight after one quarter.
While the second quarter went just as badly for the top three scorers from a year ago, the bench rallied the team. Will Barton and Thomas Robinson provided a boost of energy, with Robinson bringing the Moda Center crowd alive with a one-handed alley-oop conversion from Wesley Matthews. Matthews and Robin Lopez combined to score 15 in the period, and the Blazers cut the lead to three at halftime.
Lillard and Aldridge finally started heating up in the second half, and the Blazers defense clamped down on Stephen Curry and Thompson, holding them to just eight points in the third quarter. With timely shooting from Barton, Batum, and Aldridge the Blazers tied the game going into the fourth quarter.
The Blazers starters got hot in the fourth, but the Warriors matched them turnover for turnover, shot for shot. While Portland was able to keep Curry and Thompson under wraps, Leandro Barbosa and Andrew Bogut carried the load to keep the game close. The Blazers led late 90-89, but a controversial play with 14 seconds remaining gave Golden State the ball after Matthews was thrown to the ground, and Thompson hit a pullup jumper to give the Warriors the final lead.
Aldridge led the Blazers with 26 on 10-of-20 shooting, including 5-of-6 from field in the fourth. Matthews had a strong night with 18.
Gameday Thread Reaction
Man, this game has been horrible to watch. The best part was when my cable box went on the fritz in the second quarter and the screen went black while we came back to within one.
by Tyler Durrden
Imagine the lead we'd have if Dame had an average game.
by Reasonable Approximation
Steve Kerr said Ron Adams made the call to trap, not foul.— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) November 3, 2014
"I’m not going to run from it. I’m not going to act like it’s not happening because it’s a struggle at times just to get a rhythm." -Lillard— Mike Richman (@mikegrich) November 3, 2014
On whether he was fouled when he was trapped after watching video of the play, Wesley Matthews said: "Apparently not."— Erik Gundersen (@blazerbanter) November 3, 2014
LaMarcus @aldridge_12 said that the ease with which they ran the offense early last season might have spoiled them.— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) November 3, 2014
Steve Kerr on Klay Thompson's past two games: "Any time there’s pressure, to me that trumps a big scoring night in a 20-point win."— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) November 3, 2014
Klay Thompson on The Dunk: "I’m not doing that often, but when I do, man, I’m going to let it be known."— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) November 3, 2014
Fun with sample sizes: Blazers have the league's 9th best Def.rtg and are 18th in Off.rtg.— Erik Gundersen (@blazerbanter) November 3, 2014
Nic Batum says its not time for panic."The shots didn't fall tonight. We can't be worried about it. They'll come."— Anne M. Peterson (@AnnieMPeterson) November 3, 2014
"I think 3 games into the season it's kind of hard to tell anything for anybody."-- RoLo.— Erik Gundersen (@blazerbanter) November 3, 2014
Asked if it was a disappointing loss @wessywes2 said: `This is a pissed-off loss. The beauty of the NBA is we've got another team coming in'— Anne M. Peterson (@AnnieMPeterson) November 3, 2014
Damian Lillard: ``It's frustrating because I want to do well."— Anne M. Peterson (@AnnieMPeterson) November 3, 2014
Other than the last 3 games, Lillard has only had one other 3 game stretch shooting below 31% in each game. Nov.26-Nov.30 his rookie yr.— Erik Gundersen (@blazerbanter) November 3, 2014
Portland coach Terry Stotts: "Klay Thompson? He had a good night. Not as good as last night."— Diamond Leung (@diamond83) November 3, 2014
VIDEO: CJ McCollum strips the ball from Leandro Barbosa and dishes it to Will Barton for the fast break dunk.
VIDEO: Robin Lopez earned the NBA's Dunk of the Night award for this dunk during the third quarter of tonight's game.
VIDEO: The NBA recaps tonight's game against the Warriors.
VIDEO: Both coach Terry Stotts and forward LaMarcus Aldridge spoke with the media following tonight's loss.