It took some late heroics from Damian Lillard, but the Portland Trail Blazers held off the Golden State Warriors in a 108-106 thriller on Wednesday night. The win handed Portland a 2-1 season series victory over the ‘Dubs, which could prove critical down the line as the teams jockey for playoff positioning. Steph Curry led all scorers with 35 points on the night for the Warriors, while Portland got 22 points each from Lillard and Carmelo Anthony.
The Blazers were able to shake off a dreadful start, as Golden State raced to an early 15-2 lead, to set up a dramatic finish. Lillard connected on a go-ahead three-pointer with just 14 seconds remaining, and then drew the game-clinching charge on Draymond Green on the ensuing Warriors’ possession.
For a detailed rundown of the action, see our Instant Recap.
Here were the key storylines from the win.
What makes Lillard’s heroics all the more impressive was the fact that he struggled mightily overall in the game, going just 6-17 from the field and 3-10 from distance. The Warriors put considerable defensive pressure on him throughout the night, doubling him the majority of the time he had the ball. However, they elected for single coverage when it mattered most, and he made them pay by connecting on the late dagger over the outstretched arm of former teammate Kent Bazemore.
That's our point guard. pic.twitter.com/QSF53BOBK9— Portland Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) March 4, 2021
Carmelo Carries Offense
While Dame stole the headlines, and rightfully so, he likely wouldn’t have been in a position to win the game for Portland if it weren’t for the efforts of Carmelo Anthony. ‘Melo was the focal point of the Blazer offense for much of the night, going 8-13 from the field. However, he also did an excellent job of not forcing shots despite the extra opportunities. He routinely made the right play, whether calling his own number or taking advantage of the defensive attention he warranted by finding open teammates.
Curry Cooks Early
Early on, it looked like the Warriors’ star was primed for a monster night. He had 23 points at the half, and picked the Blazer defense apart both on the dribble and by working to get open off the ball. However, Portland clamped down on him defensively after the halftime break, and Curry had just four points in the third quarter. He scored eight in the fourth, and nearly led the Warriors to victory, but wasn’t able to take over the game the same way he was in the early going.
Notes & Observations
- The Blazers shot just 14-49 (28.6%) from three-point land, and Gary Trent Jr. was just 1-8 in the department. Golden State finished 15-42 (35.7%)
- The Warriors absolutely dominated the offensive glass, grabbing 17 offensive rebounds. Six of those were from Kevon Looney alone, of which five came in the first half.
- Draymond Green had a terrific all-around performance, going for nine rebounds, 12 assists and three steals, while also hitting a big three late.
- Rodney Hood was in Portland’s crunch time lineup, along with Trent, Lillard, Anthony and Robert Covington, and registered 27 minutes in the game. He struggled to find his shot, going 2-6 from the field and 1-5 from three.
- Derrick Jones played just 19 minutes, his lowest mark in nearly a month. He finished with eight points on 2-6 shooting, despite drawing minimal attention from the Warriors’ defense.
The Blazers conclude the first half of their season tomorrow night against the Sacramento Kings. The game is scheduled for 7:00 p.m. PT at Moda Center.