The Portland Trail Blazers showed some tenacity Sunday, almost overcoming a disastrous stretch during the second quarter to compete, but ultimately fall short to the visiting Golden State Warriors 113-11. The Warriors were without All-World guard Stephen Curry, who missed the game due to illness, so perhaps there was some, albeit slim opportunity to be seized, but an early hole proved too much to recover from.
The Blazers were led by C.J. McCollum (28 points, 7 rebounds), Damian Lillard (19 points, 8 assists) and Evan Turner (18 points, 6 assists).
The Warriors were led by Kevin Durant (33 points, 10 rebounds, 6 assists) and Klay Thompson (27 points, 6 rebounds).
Well as it turns out, the Warriors are still a world-class basketball team even without its best player, as Golden State’s offense kept humming without Curry, but the Blazers at least made things interesting. In one of the most unusual halves of the season, after hanging tight for the first quarter, Portland fell behind big early in the second, trailing by as much as 21 before closing the period on a 20-2 run to pull within just three.
For most of the half the Warriors looked a step quicker, routinely finding open looks on offense while Portland couldn’t buy a bucket. Kevin Durant led the way with 15 points and looked to be setting the table for a blowout when he knocked down a long two at the 5:30 mark in the second quarter that gave Golden State a 51-30 lead.
But the Blazers came storming back, rallying behind C.J. McCollum and Evan Turner to suddenly make a game of it. McCollum had 14 points, including a crafty slicing layup and Turner was made some key defensive stops as part of the run to wake up the slumbering Moda Center crowd.
Portland Trail Blazers 50, Golden State Warriors 53
Portland managed to get as close as tying the score at 68 on Mason Plumlee’s layup just over halfway through the third quarter, but the Warriors’ second unit came through huge, extending the lead back up to double-digits heading into the final frame. Andre Iguodala had a big hand in the run, drilling back-to-back threes and Durant had another deadly shift with 10 points as Golden State started to regain control.
That would set the stage for an exciting tug-of-war fourth quarter that would go down to the wire. The Blazers yet again clawed back, and again it was behind McCollum, who had eight points early, including back-to-back threes of his own which pulled Portland within one at 90-89. A minute later, Al-Farouq Aminu’s line-drive layup tied the game at 93, but that’s as close as it would get.
Iguodala answered back with another trey and Durant was too much to handle down the stretch as the Warriors snatched a small lead wouldn’t let go. An angle three from Klay Thompson with 37 seconds to go pushed that advantage to seven at 106-99 and all but sealed it.
Some helter-skelter playing the foul game in the closing seconds actually found The Blazers with the ball down only two, with five seconds remaining in a chance to tie or even win the game. But Turner’s open three came up short and Plumlee’s tip just off the mark.
After scoring back-to-back baskets and drawing an offensive foul to earn a final possession, ET had a chance to win the game with this shot. pic.twitter.com/KX4HDeYPFg— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) January 30, 2017
The Blazers will get tomorrow off before playing host to Nicolas Batum and the Charlotte Hornets Tuesday night at the Moda Center - tip is set 7 p.m.
Blazer’s Edge Night 2017
Want to assist us in sending 2,000+ underprivileged Portland-area kids to a Trail Blazers game this spring? Check out Blazer’s Edge Night 2017 for information on how to get involved, and help spread the word!
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