The Portland Trail Blazers played a spectacular offensive game on Friday night, but were outperformed by the Golden State Warriors. The two teams combined for 37 made threes, setting an NBA record for most threes in a single game. Unfortunately for the Blazers, the Warriors got hotter sooner and did not cool off. CSNNW brings us inside the locker room.
We gave up 81. Some teams… there’s probably somebody tonight that had 81 in the whole game, so, especially against a team like them, you let them score 81 points in one half and they get feeling god about themselves, it’s going to be that much harder to stop them in the second.
Do you feel like you were pressing at all early?
I mean, I don’t know why I would. I’ve been playing aggressive from the start of every game over the last month. Tonight I got some similar looks that I’ve been getting that didn’t go in. We needed those shots to go in, so that didn’t work out for us.
Guys got going early; guys got good looks; they were comfortable. Defensively, I’ll have to go back and watch the film, but I thought we did a decent job on offense. We scored and we were productive but, the way they played, there’s so many possessions in a game you got to execute better; you got to limit their easy baskets; you got to limit threes early in the game because that’s how they kind of get rolling and get comfortable.
Were they different—their energy, the way they played—than three weeks ago?
They made shots. That was the difference. They ran the same offense; they played the same way, switching screens like they normally do, but playing at home helps. Guys were comfortable. I’m sure they remembered what we did to them and they repaid us the favor.
Because they’re so unique in what they do and how they play, do your defensive principals sort of go out the window when you’re looking at—
Yeah, they don’t run a lot of plays. A lot of split action; a lot of constant movement. Out of ATOs they run plays. Besides that it’s constant movement. Draymond [Green] is pushing in transition; guys are splitting screens and constantly trying to get shots. They do a great job of moving the ball and being unselfish, so just got to always be locked in. A split second is all takes for them to get a shot off.
They’re a really good team. That’s obvious. Look at their record; look at the way they play at home, the lineup of guys they have. Klay [Thompson] knocks down three early threes—I feel like we were fairly locked in and trying to stay close to them—then Steph [Curry] hits a couple and all of a sudden they blow the lead open. We keep battling back and forth. For whatever reason, we couldn’t really get our shots to fall and it was an uphill climb from there. Like I said, I thought we were fairly locked in to our scouting report and what we needed to do, but the fact of the matter is they really brought it and made a lot of good plays.
It seems like they’re the kind of team, too, that once they jump on you, it’s all but impossible to get back into the game.
Yeah, I would say it’s pretty close to true. With their talent and their playmaking ability on the offensive end, they create some turnovers on the defensive end and get out in transition. You never know when Steph’s going to pull up—Klay too, for that matter—Draymond making plays, [Andrew] Bogut at the rim… They’re a good team, but we’ve proven that if we play to our best and a little bit above that, we can play with them; we can play with a lot of people. We’ll check out what we can do better tomorrow on the film and what we did well, and just bounce back against Orlando. That’s the main thing right now. This game’s over with. Orlando’s huge for us tomorrow night.
I imagine that if you guys hit 19 three-pointers and make 53 percent of your three-pointers, you probably you’re going to win that game, but—
Yeah, you shoot it at that clip, you would think you got to be somewhere near in the game, but unfortunately Dame and CJ didn’t get it going very early, and they did. Again, it was kind of an uphill climb. The game—with the numbers like you’re talking about— it would seem that we would have been closer, but they jumped on us so early that it was tough for us to bounce back from, I think.
Brian, and efficient night for you—four of seven, 11 points, playing 14 minutes—how do you always make sure you stay ready? Because you never really know how many minutes you’re going to play, right?
Yeah, I mean, it’s just in preparation. I just try to keep the same routine whether I’m playing four minutes or 24 minutes. I just think that’s something that I’ve learned in my time playing in the league is just things happen—just got to stay ready. I just try to be a professional no matter what’s going on.
This Warriors team… playing in the league, have you seen a team that can shoot the ball like they have been?
No, tonight was pretty special; that first half. We could have done some things different defensively, but I think even with that, they were determined to come out and just shoot the lights out. They do that night in and night out, but tonight it was too much to overcome.
I know you guys take a look at this game, now look ahead to Orlando. Do you take away things from tonight or now do you just need to start focusing on the Magic?
Yeah, I mean, tomorrow’s a big game—just as important, if not more important than tonight’s game. We got to kind of wash ourselves off of this game and come back at home and get that one.
Gerald, you guys shot so well from behind the arc, but it was, like, early on you just couldn’t get it going. Was it one of those nights where it didn’t seem like it was going tonight?
You know, they were getting going on offense. I think sometimes that can affect your offense. We’re a team that likes to get out in transition and play with pace. It’s kind of hard if every shot they’re taking is going in, so I probably put it on our defense to start the game and us not getting stops and being able to push the ball and play at the pace that we wanted to.
Is there something specific about Oracle that makes it tough to play here?
No. They have a good team. They have good players and you just have to be ready to play. Obviously, this is a great environment to play basketball, but they have a team that’s running on all cylinders on both ends of the floor, so I’ll probably say that’s the reason that it’s tough to play here.
Do you think that they think of that game in Portland when you guys beat them by 30 and that helped them tonight get ready for this one?
I wouldn’t say that they weren’t thinking about it, but, like any team, we played them really well at home. We won by 30 or so, so obviously they probably had that in the back of their minds when they were playing. Any team is going to do that though.