Golden State Warriors’ Stephen Curry drives to the basket against the Portland Trail Blazers during Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Oakland, Calif. (Ezra Shaw, Getty Images via AP, Pool)
By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer
OAKLAND — Even without star forward Kevin Durant, who didn’t play due to a left calf strain, the Golden State Warriors were able to impose their will in dominating fashion to take a 2-0 lead over the Portland Trail Blazers 110-81 Wednesday night at Oracle Arena.
Game 3 is Saturday night in Portland.
Check out my takeaways below that led to Golden State’s win in the best-of-7 first-round series:
The Splash Brothers were just damp in Game 2
Stephan Curry (6 of 18 FG) led Golden State with 19 points and Klay Thompson (6 of 17 FG) added 16 points, but the duo combined to shoot just 12 of 35 from the floor (7 of 20 3FG).
Curry couldn’t find the bottom of the basket in the first half, shooting 2 of 10 from the floor with 6 points and 4 assists, while Thompson started cold in the first half, knocking down just 3 of 9 from the floor for 8 points.
Patrick McCaw, who started in place of Durant, had nine points and five rebounds.
I don’t expect the Warriors prized backcourt to have another slow shooting night, especially in Portland, where Golden State will be greeted by a rabid Moda Center in prime time.
Golden State jumped out to a 33-17 lead in the first quarter, shooting 13 of 22 from the field on 11 assists, before finishing with a 31 to 17 assist advantage over the Trail Blazers.
The Warriors turned up the defense in the opening frame, holding Portland to just 6 of 21 from the field.
Golden State’s biggest lead of the game was 32 points 96-64 midway through the fourth quarter.
Draymond Green is always on time: Although he didn’t score 19 points tonight as he did in Game 1 finishing with just 6, Green was up to his old tricks again filling up the stat sheet.
Green recorded 12 rebounds and 10 assists in Game 2, a nice follow up to his 19 points, 12 rebounds and nine assists in Game 1.
Center of attention: There are still times where I scratch my head and wonder how are the Warriors making lemonade out of their weakest position, center?
JaVale McGee actually led Golden State in scoring at halftime, piling up 15 points on 7 of 7 shooting. Granted, a bunch of those shots were putbacks and one spin-move that left Trail Blazers center Noah Vonleh’s head spin.
McGee scored 6 points on 3 of 4 shooting in Game 1 before coming alive for the Warriors in Game 2.
Throw in Zsa Zsa Pachulia’s 10 points on 5 of 8 shooting, James Michael McAdoo’s 7 points on 2 of 5 shooting, and Damian Jones’s free throw, Golden State’s big men contributed 33 points on 14 of 20 shots from the floor.
The Warriors controlled the paint, outscoring Portland 50 to 36 inside and held a 54 to 47 rebounding edge.
There is no secret that the loss of center Jusef Nurkic has been a glaring hole for Portland, who are hoping that the big man could suit up when the Trail Blazers return home for Games 3 and 4.
After gigantic performances in Game 1, Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum were duds in Game 2: Look, the writing is on the wall for the Trail Blazers. Portland has a backcourt that is comparable to the Splash Brothers, but they can’t do it by themselves.
After combining for 75 points on 52% shooting (7 of 15 3FG) in Game 1, Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum couldn’t carry Portland in Game 2 as Lillard and McCollum combined for 23 points on 9 of 34 from the floor.
Golden State put the clamps on Portland’s dynamic backcourt after the pair were virtually un-guardable in Game 1.
McCollum finished with a career playoff-high with 41 points while draining four 3-pointers, but was just 4 of 17 from the floor.
Lillard was missing in action as the Warriors held the Oakland product to just 12 points on 5 of 14 shooting.
Lillard and McCollum are fantastic scorers, but it was forward Maurice Harkless who led Portland with 15 points and eight rebounds in Game 2.
Shabazz Napier was the only other Portland player in double digits with 10 points. Allen Crabbe shot just 3 of 10 in Game 2, finishing with just 6 points and was 0 of 4 from beyond the arc.
This was Golden State’s 12th win in their last 13 meetings with Portland in the postseason. The last time Portland defeated Golden State in the playoffs, it was in Game 3 of last season’s Western Conference Semifinals.