Photo credit: nba.com/warriors
By: Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors played well enough on defense to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers Thursday night at Oracle Arena. The Warrior offense, however, did not take advantage of the many opportunities they had to put the game away, and they fell to the Trail Blazers 110-109.
The Warriors defense held the Blazers to 36% from the floor, but they lost. The Warriors, when they make 11 or more 3s in a game usually win. Until late in the fourth quarter, they were shooting 8-for-34 from the 3-point range. The Warriors literally gave the game to the Blazers as they missed eight free throws in 14 attempts. Klay Thompson, Steph Curry, and Kevin Durant all missed key free throws.
Both teams played a competitive first period. The Warriors finished the quarter with the lead 28-27. The Warriors were ahead 38-35 when Portland went on a 15-5 run to lead 50-43. Andre Iguodala connected on a 3 to bring the Warriors a bit closer. The Blazers scored the last two points of the half to finished with a six-point advantage, 52-46. They outscored the Warriors 25-18 in the quarter.
The Warriors cut the deficit to two at the end of the third period. They had ample opportunities to get ahead as Portland’s offense was non-existent at times. The Warriors couldn’t make 3s or free throws, and Portland was able to finish leading 75-71.
The Blazers’ Seth Curry made three 3-pointers to start the fourth quarter. The Warriors trailed by nine 83-74, and things looked dire. The Warriors tried to come back, but Portland was able to increase the lead to 10 96-86. The Warriors then went on a 16-6 run to tie the game. Curry made two 3-point shots, and Kevin Durant tied it with a 3.
In overtime, the Warriors took an early 106-102 lead. Portland turned the ball over three times, but the Warriors failed to capitalize. Portland went ahead 107-106 with 1:05 left to play. Draymond Green made a 3 from the corner to put the Warriors ahead for the last time 109-107. The Warriors had the ball with time running down. The Warriors inbounded the ball to Curry, who was double-teamed by the Blazers. Curry’s attempt to pass the ball went awry, and the ball went over to Portland, who made the Warriors pay as Oakland native Damian Lillard drained a 3 with 5.2 seconds left. The Warriors gave the ball to Kevin Durant for the last shot, but his shot bounced off the rim, and the Warriors were toast 110-109.
Game Notes and Stats: The Blazers had five players in double figures. They were led by Jusuf Nurkic. He was a force on offense and a monster on the boards. He scored 27 points and had 12 rebounds. CJ McCollum finished with 24, Lillard 21, Maurice Harkless 11, and Seth Curry 11.
The Warriors were led by Steph Curry’s 29. Steph was 6-for-15 from 3-point land. Durant had a triple-double with 26 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists. Draymond Green finished the night with 15 points, 11 rebounds for a double-double.
The Warriors drop to 23-23 while Portland improves to 30-15.
Up Next: The two teams play again in Portland Saturday night at 7:00 pm PST.