Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum struggled all night long, and the Golden State Warriors dominated the first and third quarters to easily beat the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 2 of the first-round NBA Playoffs matchup. The Blazers were led by Moe Harkless with 15 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks. The Warriors were led by Steph Curry with 19 points.
The belief was real for the first few minutes. In earlier, happier times, the Blazers led 9-4 before the Warriors went on a 14-0 blitz that culminated into a 20-2 house-of-horrors run the Blazers had so far avoided in the series. CJ McCollum, who dazzled in Game 1, was held mostly in check, as was Damian Lillard. Nobody other than Moe Harkless in the first quarter got the memo that the Blazers needed help from anyone not named McCollum or Lillard. Eight Blazers turnovers resulted in a 33-17 Warriors lead heading into the second.
The Warriors took human form in the second quarter and the Blazers responded with an 18-6 run, trimming the lead to just one. Al-Farouq Aminu heeded the call for more assistance, playing solid minutes on both ends of the court. But, the Warriors finished the half strong, stretching the lead back to nine as the Blazers failed to take further advantage, going 4-19 from downtown while Lillard and McCollum combined for just 17 points in the half. Harkless had 15 points and three blocks to lead the Blazers. Javale McGee led the Warriors with 13 points. Yes, I did write that, and no, it’s not a typo.
Halftime: Portland 46, Golden State 55
Caution: The following may be unsuitable for impressionable children, pregnant women, and hopeful Blazers fans.
It was ugly. Real ugly. The Blazers wasted no time in digging themselves another hole; Golden State opened the half with a 7-0 run, blossoming its lead to 16. Lillard and McCollum continued to be completely off target from the field. Harkless, Portland’s leading scorer, would fail to score another point. The Blazers bench, which showed some promise in the first half, did zilch in the second. The Warriors pushed the lead to 21 when McGee scored his 15th point, outscoring every Blazers player except Harkless. Golden State took an 83-58 lead after three quarters.
The Blazers waved the white flag around the 10 minute mark of the fourth when the Warriors casually went up by 29. There was no more fight to this game; the Warriors’ lead hovered around 30 most of the fourth quarter. The Warriors win Game 2 as the series shifts back to Portland.
Dame missed from deep. Steph didn't. pic.twitter.com/BM5WcdTCMt— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) April 20, 2017
The Blazers return home for Game 3 on Saturday at the Moda Center. Tip off is at 7:30pm. Stay tuned to Blazer's Edge tonight, for extended analysis of this game.