Going into Oracle Arena and stealing a win may be the single most impressive thing that a visiting NBA team can achieve. The Warriors are a staggering 36-2 at home this season, which is the best in the NBA by a large margin. The Trail Blazers fought a valiant fight against Golden State, but ultimately became another one of Steph Curry’s victims, falling 105-116 at Oracle on Thursday night.
The Blazers looked shaky out of the gates on both ends of the court. The Warriors, well, looked like the Warriors. After just four minutes of play, Golden State led 14-7 by way of a few wide open dunks and some Steph Curry threes. Terry Stotts called timeout, and the Blazers regrouped. Portland looked better as a unit, but they weren’t hitting shots at a high rate. The Trail Blazers trailed by three at the end of the first quarter, and that was mostly due to their presence on the offensive boards. Golden State shot 57 percent from the field and 40 percent from three in the first, while Portland shot just 43 percent from the field and didn’t make a single three in the period. With those shooting stats, I’d take a three point deficit any day of the week.
Early on in the second, the Blazers started to click on all cylinders. After trailing for the majority of the first, Portland took a lead and continued to build upon it. The Trail Blazers went on an 11-0 run that took just under two minutes, prompting Steve Kerr to call timeout. The run continued after the break, and Portland had pushed their lead to as many as 13. The most surprising, and perhaps most impressive part of this 18-2 run is the fact that LaMarcus Aldridge was on the bench for the entirety of it. Unfortunately, with the way that the Warriors shoot the ball, a double-digit lead can be completely evaporated in a matter of minutes. That’s exactly what happened. Golden State closed the half on an 18-5 run in which they shot 87.5 percent from the field. Not a whole lot that you can do about that. The Warriors took a 57-54 lead into the locker room.
The third quarter was yet another back-and-forth affair. Nothing out of the ordinary happened in the quarter, but the Blazers ended up outscoring the Warriors by three, setting up for a highly entertaining fourth period.
Early on in the fourth, it looked as if the Warriors may just run away with it. The Blazers came out looking sluggish, and Golden State was hitting shots. After entering the quarter tied, the Warriors pushed their lead to 11 early on in the period. The Blazers bounced back quickly. Nic Batum hit a three pointer at the 5:50 mark of the period, cutting the Golden State lead to just one. The Blazers took a two point lead at one point, that would be the last time that Portland would have the advantage. From there, it was the Steph Curry show. There really isn’t much else to say. Curry is the MVP of the league, and it’s not close. Steph’s 40th point was the dagger, pushing the Golden State lead to 8 with under two minutes to play.
LaMarcus Aldridge finished with 27 points and six rebounds, while Damian Lillard added 20 points of his own. CJ McCollum scored 17 points, his sixth straight game scoring in double digits. Curry finished with 45 points and nine assists on 17-of-23 shooting for the Warriors. Ridiculous.
With the loss, the Trail Blazers fall to 51-28 on the season and 19-20 on the road. While they’re not mathematically eliminated from reaching the fourth-best record in the Western Conference, it’s extremely unlikely that the Trail Blazers will get home-court advantage in the first round of the playoffs.
- Shooting percentage: Portland 47% — Golden State 53%
- Three point percentage: Portland 29% — Golden State 46%
- Free throws: Portland 6-8 — Golden State 8-9
- Rebounds: Portland 41 — Golden State 44
- Assists: Portland 27 — Golden State 26
- Points in the paint: Portland 52 — Golden State 58
- Fastbreak points: Portland 7 — Golden State 34
- Bench points: Portland 33 — Golden State 12
- LaMarcus Aldridge now has 50 games with 20+ points this season, the fourth most in teh NBA.
- CJ McCollum has scored in double-digits in every game in April.
- Arron Afflalo suffered a ‘right arm injury,’ per Trail Blazers PR. He said that he ‘felt something tear,’ but his status for Saturday’s game is unknown. He will be re-evaluated tomorrow.