Photo credit: mercurynews.com
By Jerry Feitelberg
The Golden State Warriors led by three rookies — Eric Paschall, Ky Bowman, and Jordan Poole — and stunned the Portland Trailblazer Monday night at the Chase Center by a score of 127-118. It was the Warriors’ first win at the Chase Center this season.
The Warriors were again without the services of Draymond Green, D’Angelo Russell, and Kevon Looney. Steph Curry is out for at least three months. Klay Thompson is out for the season. Warriors head coach Steve Kerr’s starting lineup had three rookies and two veterans, Willie Cauley-Stein and Glen Robinson.
The Warriors, who played well for most of the game Saturday against Charlotte for three quarters, were able to put together a complete game as they stunned Portland. The Warriors played all four quarters with a lot of energy. They played well on offense as they recorded 28 assists. They improved on defense. They outrebounded Portland 47-44. The Warriors attacked the basket all night long. They had 36 free throws and made 33.
The Warriors’ player of the game was Eric Paschall. The young man that played his college ball at Villanova turned 23 on Monday. Paschall, who won a National Championship with Villanova, was the 41st player picked in the 2019 NBA Draft and showed the NBA that he came ready to play. In his seventh NBA game, Paschall tallied 36 points and had 13 rebounds for his first career double-double. Also, he knocked down four three-point shots. He scored 17 points in the first quarter and had his third game in the league with more than 20 points. His 36 points were the most scored by a rookie this year.
The Warriors and Blazers played a fast-paced and entertaining first quarter. The Warriors led most of the way. The most significant lead they had was 14-7. The teams tied at 22 and again at 27. Portland led 30-29 near the end of the period. The Warriors went on a 5-0 run to finish leading 34-30.
The Blazers outscored the Warriors 31-26 in the second quarter to lead 63-60 at the end of the first 24 minutes of action. Damian Lillard and Hassan Whiteside pace the Blazers with 17 points and 14 points. Eric Paschall finished the half with 19 points. Rookie point guard Ky Bowman, who played his college ball at Boston College, knocked down 10.
Portland increased the lead to 65-60 to start the third quarter. The Warriors responded with an 8-0 run to take the lead 68-65. It was nip and tuck for the remainder of the third quarter. Eric Paschall, Willie Cauley-Stein, Damian Lee, and Ky Bowman played with a lot of energy, and the Warriors refused to wilt. The Warriors won the period 27-20 and led 87-83 with 12 minutes left to play.
The Blazers, who probably has the best backcourt in the league now that Steph Curry and Klay Thompson are on the shelves, fought back and tied the game at 99. Alec Burks made a couple of crucial three-point plays. Eric Paschall was a force on offense as well as on defense. Eric scored a bucket after fighting for a rebound to put the Warriors up 117-105. Jordan Poole and Damian Lee played exceptionally well. The Blazers double-teamed Lee every time he handled the ball, trying to force turnovers. They were successful a couple of times, but they fouled Damian several times. Lee made 8 free throws in nine attempts. The Warriors refused to fold, and they ran out the clock with a stunning victory over the Blazers.
Game Notes: As mentioned above, Eric Paschall had the biggest night of his young career. In just seven games, he has shown that he is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the NBA. The Dubs had six players in double figures. Paschall led the way with 36. Ky Bowman had 19, Jordan Poole and Damian Lee each had 16. Alec Burns, coming off the bench, added 13, and Cauley-Stein had 10.
Damian Lillard, who is from Oakland, led the Blazers with 39. he hit five threes in 13 tries. His backcourt partner, C.J.McCollum, finished with 14. Big Hassan Whiteside, who killed the Warriors when he was with the Miami Heat, had a double-double with 22 points and 11 rebounds. The Blazers’ bench players, Anfernee Simons and Mario Hezonjka, had 14 and 11.
The Blazers shot almost 45% from the floor. The Warriors were better as they shot 48.8%. The Blazers hit 13 threes while the W’s connected 10 times on 26 attempts. The Blazers committed six turnovers. The Warriors turned the ball over 10 times.
Up Next: The Warriors improved to 2-5 while Portland dropped to 3-4. The Warriors travel to Houston to face the Rockets Wednesday at 4:30 pm PT.