On a night when both teams were coming off of a blowout loss in their previous game, the Golden State Warriors played with inspiring effort as they defeated the Portland Trail Blazers 125-97. The champions sailed past Portland behind a combined 63 points from Kevin Durant and Klay Thompson. Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 23, along with eight assists. Jusuf Nurkic added 22 points and eight boards.
The Warriors, who were playing without Stephen Curry, Draymond Green, and key reserve Alfonzo McKinnie, rebounded from a three-point deficit after the first quarter to take a 15-point lead into the half. Along the way they outscored the Blazers 35-17 in the second quarter. Despite a couple of mini-runs from Portland in the second half, they could never get the margin back to single digits. The Warriors’ 25-point win snapped a four-game losing streak, the team’s worst such stretch since Steve Kerr became coach in 2014.
With Curry and Green out, the Warriors needed big efforts from Durant and Thompson, and boy did they deliver. Durant stuffed the stat sheet, finishing with 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, along with three blocks and two steals. Thompson wasn’t far behind, scoring 31, including 12 in the first quarter alone, while pulling down eight boards himself. The two combined to go 25-42 from the field on the night.
Three and D
The Warriors had the three-point ball working all night long, and shot an incredible 53% from distance, making 17 of their 32 attempts. Quinn Cook knocked down a game-high five triples, and finished with 19 points total. Thompson made four threes, and four other Warriors hit two.
In addition to their own shooting prowess, Golden State held the Blazers to just 41% shooting on the night, and recorded 11 steals and 11 blocks.
Turnovers once again led to the Blazers undoing, with the Warriors taking full advantage of the miscues. Golden State scored an impressive 19 points off of seven Blazer turnovers in the first half, including a four-point play from Thompson.
Portland finished the game with 13 total turnovers, which the Warriors were able to convert in 25 points, the exact difference of the game’s final score.
Portland’s bench, a major strength for much of the year, was outscored 37-19 on the night, all the more disheartening when you consider the fact that two of the Warriors’ best second-unit players, Quinn Cook and Andre Iguodala, got the start. Shaun Livingston led all reserves with 11 points, followed by the eight points from Damion Lee and Jonas Jerebko’s seven. Jordan Bell had five points, five rebounds and seven assists.
Meyers Leonard led the Blazers bench with eight points and six rebounds, but Nik Stauskus was the only other Blazers reserve to hit more than one shot, scoring five points on 2-5 shooting. Seth Curry made his return after missing the last four games, making one shot in 12 minutes of action in front of his older brother. Zach Collins didn’t score, but did pull down nine rebounds in a losing effort.
Portland got 19 points from CJ McCollum, including nine in the first quarter when he went toe-to-toe with Thompson. Al-Farouq Aminu bounced back from an abysmal shooting performance in Milwaukee to finish with 12 points on 4-7 shooting, along with seven rebounds.
The Blazers finish their six-game road trip at a disappointing 2-4 mark, and return home to take on the Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday night in Portland, with tip-off scheduled to begin at 6 pm PT.