azcentral.com photo: msn.com photo: Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard drives to the hoop against the Golden State Warriors.
By Jerry Feitelberg
It was a meeting of two banged-up teams Monday night at the Mod Center in Portland, Oregon. The Golden State Warriors suited up eight players for the game. Draymond Green was out with a sprained finger.
Glenn Robinson has a sore ankle and was not available. Kevon Looney is still on the injured list. Portland had nine players available. C.J. McCollum was held out of action Monday night. He may return on Wednesday. There is no timetable for Zach Collins or Jusef Nurcic to return.
The Warriors beat the Blazers the last time the teams met. The Blazers couldn’t believe what happened to them, and they wanted to get the win. Without McCollum, the scoring load fell to the Blazers’ other All-Star guard, Damian Lillard. Lillard, who is from Oakland, had a sensational game.
The young man from Oakland put a career-high and season-high sixty-one points on the board. He made a career-high 11 threes and led his team to a 129-124 overtime win over the Warriors.
The game was a barn-burner from start to finish. The most significant lead that Portland had all night was six points. The Warriors led by 11 in the second quarter 44-33. Lillard started making threes, and the W’s lead disappeared.
The Blazers won the first period 27-23. D’Angelo Russell was one-for nine from the floor early in the game. Alec Burks and Damion Lee paced the Warrior offense in the quarter. The Warriors started the second quarter on a 12-0 run to lead 35-27 the Warriors, behind D’Angelo Russell’s 13-point performance, finished the first half with a 4-point advantage 57-53.
Russell led the team in scoring in the first half with 15. Burks had 11. Willie Cauley-Stein and Marquese Chriss each had eight. Damian Lillard led Portland with 21. He made two threes in the half.
The third quarter was wild and wooly. The Warriors won the quarter 35-34. Eric Paschall, D’Angelo Russell, Alec Burks, and Jordan Poole all contributed helping the Warriors end the third period leading 92-87. The Blazers’ Lillard put on a show as he had 21 points in the third quarter to keep Portland close to the lead.
The Warriors maintained the lead for a while in the fourth quarter. Russell hit a three to make the score 100-95. Portland clawed their way back and regained the lead for the first time since the first quarter when Lillard knocked down a three to put Portland ahead 103-102.
The Blazers increased the lead to 105-102. It was at this point that the Warriors went on a 7-0 run to lead 109-105. Portland fought back and led 110-109. The Warriors made the next two baskets to lead 113-110. Lillard made his tenth three of the night to tie the game at 113 and send it to overtime.
The Warriors, behind Alec Burks, Eric Paschall, and Willie Cauley-Stein scored the first six points of the overtime period to lead 119-113. The Warriors could not stop Lillard. He continued to find ways to score, and his efforts led the Blazers to the lead 123-121.
Alec Burks hit a three, and the W’s regained the advantage 124-123. The Warriors would not score again. Portland made a two-point shot to go-ahead 125-124. Burks then missed a three. Portland’s big center, Hassan Whiteside, was fouled, making the rebound.
Whiteside made the free throws to put the Blazers in the driver’s seat 127-124. The Warriors with 8.5 seconds to play, and they needed to make a three-point shot. The Warriors found Jordan Poole in the corner. His three-point shot missed the mark. Damian Lillard was then fouled. Lillard made both free throws to put the icing on the cake. Portland wins 129-124.
Game Notes and Stats- The star of the night was Damian Lillard. Lillard set a career-high with 61 points. He tallied 60 earlier this season. He also had a career-high 11 threes. He also set an NBA record for points scored on Martin Luther King Day.
The Warriors played well but not well enough. The young Warriors have played tough competitive games, and they should be much better when they get their star players back. The Warriors youngsters are getting valuable playing time. They are learning how to compete in the NBA. It has been a challenging year, to say the least, for the Warriors. Let’s take a look at the bright side of Monday’s night loss.
Alec Burks led Golden State with 33 points, seven rebounds, and eight assists. Burks made two three-point shots. D’Angelo Russell’s numbers were 27 points, eight boards, nine assists, and five 3s. Eric Paschall had a double-double with 22 points and 13 rebounds. Marquese Chriss had 14, Willie Cauley-Stein 12, and Jordan Poole nine.
Damian Lillard finished with 61 points, 10 rebounds, 7 assists, and he connected on 11 threes. Hassan Whiteside, who always plays well against Golden State, had 17 points, 21 rebounds, and he blocked six shots. Carmelo Anthony had 14, Anfernee Simons, 15, and Gary Trent, Jr. 11.
The Blazers will announce on Tuesday that they have traded Kent Bazemore and Anthony Tolliver to the Sacramento Kings for Trevor Ariza, Caleb Swangian, and Wenyen Gabriel.
With the loss, The Warriors drop to 10-35. The Blazers improved to 19-26.
The Warriors return home to face the Utah Jazz Wednesday night at the Chase Center. The game will start at 7 pm.