Photo credit: @HoopMixOnly
By Jerry Feitelberg
Without Kelly Oubre, Jr., the Golden State Warriors fell to the Portland Trail Blazers 108-106 at the Moda Center in Portland on Wednesday night. Oubre injured his wrist attempting a dunk during a practice session on Tuesday. The Blazers had three players out with an injury. C.J. McCollum suffered a fractured foot, Josef Nurkic suffered a broken wrist, and Zach Collins suffered an ankle injury.
Wednesday night’s game was the last meeting of the year for the two teams. The Blazers won the series 2-1. Both teams are battling for a playoff position, and if they end up with identical records at the end of the year, the tie-breaker will go to Portland.
Things went well for the Warriors at the beginning of the first quarter. The Warriors raced out to an early 10-0 advantage. That was the most significant lead the Warriors enjoyed all night. Portland came back, and the quarter finished with Golden State ahead 29-28. Steph Curry paced the Warriors with 16 points.
Portland went ahead 33-29 to start the second period. The Warriors regained the lead and led by six, 42-36. The Blazers kept coming back. The Warriors would not let Portland regain the lead the rest of the quarter. It was nip and tuck, but the Warriors finished the first half leading 56-55.
The lead changed hands several times in the third quarter. Neither team could pull away. The Warriors were double-teaming Damian Lillard. In his 18th season, Carmelo Anthony came off the bench and kept putting points on the board. He helped the Blazers finish the period ahead 82-80.
The team that won the fourth quarter would be the winner. The Warriors tied the game at 84. Portland made a three to lead 87-84. The Warriors came back to go ahead 96-91 when Steph Curry connected on a three. The teams went at it tooth and nail. With the score tied at 103. The Portland defense focused on Curry. They left Draymond Green alone behind the three-point arc. Green drained a three to make it 106-103. Portland closed to within a point 106-105. The Blazers’ Damian Lillard, who was 2-for-10 from downtown, made a three-pointer to put Portland ahead 108-106 with 13.7 seconds left. The Blazers’ defense was not going to let Curry beat them. They were all over Curry. The ball went to Green, who drove to the net. Green put the ball through the hoop. Instead of the basket counting, the referees call an offensive foul on Green as he ran over Lillard. The game was over.
Game notes and Stats: With the loss, the Warriors are 19-17 for the year. The Blazers are 20-14.
Steph Curry led the Warriors with 35 points, seven rebounds, and five assists. Curry was 13-for-28 from the floor, and he made five threes in 14 tries. Andrew Wiggins had 14 points, Kent Bazemore had 12 points, Damion Lee had 10 points. The Warriors shot 42.3% from the floor and made 15 threes in 42 attempts. The Blazers won the game from the free-throw line. They outscored the Dubs 22-for-9 in that department.
Lillard and Anthony led the Blazers with 22 points each. Robert Covington and Gary Trent, Jr. each had 15 points. Enes Kanter had a double-double with 11 points and 15 rebounds.
Up Next: The Warriors meet the Suns in Phoenix on Thursday night at 7 pm PT. It will be the last game before the NBA All-Star break.