LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points, Damian Lillard had 20 points and 8 assists, but the Portland Trail Blazers lost Arron Afflalo to injury, and lost the game in Oakland, falling to the Golden State Warriors, 116-105 Thursday night at ORACLE Arena.
Portland briefly allowed Golden State a seven point advantage early in the first quarter, but kept it close on the back of eight points by Aldridge. Arron Afflalo added six, and the Blazers forced a tie at 27 late in the period. One major issue that popped up during the period is something Portland has recently struggled with: finishing fast breaks. Twice the Blazers had a 2-on-1 fast break, only to fail to score as the defender (in both cases Draymond Green) simply stood under the basket with his hands up. The loss in points would prove critical as the Warriors led by just three after one.
The second quarter was split in half. In the first half, the Blazers bench unit shredded the the second line for the Warriors for an 18-2 run. CJ McCollum had five, Meyers Leonard had four, Robin Lopez had four, and the Warriors missed eight of their first ten shots. Yet once Stephen Curry came back onto the court, Portland had no answer. Curry hit a quick three, setting the all-time record for most threes in one season at 273, and the shot energized a demoralized audience and powered a Golden State rally. The Warriors would go on a 20-4 run, leaving the deficit at halftime back at three for Portland. Lillard led the Blazers scoring in the quarter with nine.
Golden State expanded their lead to 11 in the third quarter. At that point, Aldridge took over, scoring 12 in the period to march the Blazers back into the thick of things. McCollum added six, and a three-point shot by Steve Blake gave Portland a two point lead. The three by Blake was his first field goal in his last 13 quarters of basketball, snapping an 0-for-14 skid. Green tied the game for the Warriors, and the teams stayed tied into the fourth.
Late in the quarter, Afflalo injured his right shoulder. He left the game and stayed on the bench, but would not return to action. He left for the locker room in the fourth quarter, saying he felt like he tore something in his shoulder.
Portland again got control in the fourth quarter with a tip-in by Nicolas Batum off a miss by Aldridge. Curry responded with a pass to Klay Thompson for a three, followed by a three of his own to give Golden State a five point lead. Allen Crabbe scored five in the period to keep Portland in the game, and a quick bucket by McCollum closed the gap to one. Curry would hit three free throws, and a Crabbe turnover put Portland out of reach.
McCollum led the bench with 17. Lopez had 10 points and 7 rebounds. Curry finished with 45 points.
#Blazers now a full 2 games behind Clippers and Spurs, 2.5 behind Grizzlies and Rockets, with 3 left. Homecourt down to slim and none.— Mike Tokito (@mtokito) April 10, 2015
Batum tip in gave the #Blazers a 93-92 lead with 5:58 left. From there: Curry 6-6 17 points, Blazers 7-12 14 points.— Mike Richman (@mikegrich) April 10, 2015