Another Fourth-Quarter Rally Falls Short Versus Golden State
OAKLAND -- The Portland Trail Blazers fell to 13-13 overall and 6-5 on the road this season after losing 111-104 to the Golden State Warriors in front of a sellout crowd of 19,596 Monday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland.
The Trail Blazers have now lost their last five games overall and their last 11 to the Warriors including playoffs. Portland has not won on the Warriors home floor since November of 2013.
After taking a one-point lead after the first 12 minutes, Portland was outscored by 14 in the second quarter to go into the half down 60-47. Golden State would go on to lead by as many as 24 points in second half, though a 17-4 Portland run cut the lead down to eight late in the game.
"We were down basically 20 going into the fourth quarter and I wanted to give it one more shot," said Terry Stotts. "Dame (Lillard) was competing and the group in the fourth quarter did a great job. I was hoping that they could pull it out because they deserved it."
But even with Lillard scoring 11 of his 39 points in the fourth, the Trail Blazers weren’t able to overcome such a large deficit with Golden State shooting 55 percent from the field and 50 percent from three.
"We fought hard, we got the game in position where we could strike and we could win the game," said Lillard. "But I think when you put yourself in a hole and you've got to work so hard to dig out of it against a team that runs the way they do, has as many shooters and they play great offense like they do, you're not giving yourself a great chance. I think once we cut it to eight, it was only a matter of time before somebody hit a shot. We just can't dig ourselves a hole like that."
The Trail Blazers were led by Damian Lillard, who went 12-of-28 from the field, 5-of-13 from three and 10-of-11 from the free throw line to finish with a game-high 39 points to go with four rebounds, two assists and two steals in 42 minutes. With the performance, Lillard joins Lebron James, James Harden, Giannis Antetokounmpo and Devin Booker as the only players to score at least 30 points in 10 games this season.
CJ McCollum went 8-of-14 from the field to finish with 21 points, three rebounds and two assists in 34 minutes. Evan Turner was the only other Trail Blazers to finish in double figures with 10 points on 3-of-8 shooting.
The Warriors were led by Kevin Durant, who shot better than 50 percent from the field to finish with 28 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three steals in 36 minutes. Klay Thompson took 21 shots to finish with 24 points while both Omri Casspi and Jordan Bell added 11 points.
The highlights from Oakland. pic.twitter.com/CQNXWE4pRe
— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) December 12, 2017
NO ROOM FOR SECONDS
As has often been the case this season, the Trail Blazers looked up to the task in the first quarter of Monday night’s loss in Oakland. Damian Lillard and Evan Turner each scored eight points, the team combined to shoot 50 percent from the field, they turned the ball over just once, scored 16 points in the paint and even got nine fastbreak points to finish the first 12 minute of play leading 28-27.
But for as good as they were in the first quarter, they were just as bad in the second, shooting just 28 percent from the field while logging only two assists and turning the ball over five times. Meanwhile, the Warriors went 13-of-19 from the field while doling out eight assists to outscore the Trail Blazers 33-19 in the quarter and take a 60-47 lead into the intermission.
ADDING INSULT TO INJURY
There aren’t many teams in the NBA that can lose two all-stars to injury and still come away with a blowout victory, but the Warriors are certainly one of the few that can, a fact that was evident Monday night at Oracle Arena.
Even though two-time MVP Stephen Curry missed his third-straight game with a sprained right ankle and Draymond Green, the 2016-17 Defensive Player of the Year, was a late scratch due to shoulder soreness, the Warriors had no problem separating themselves from the Trail Blazers in the second half thanks to six players scoring in double figures.
The Trail Blazers weren’t playing with their full complement of players either, with both Jusuf Nurkić (right ankle sprain) and Maurice Harkless (left quad contusion) sitting out their second game due to injuries.
NEW AND IMPROVED
After playing sparingly for the first quarter of his first season, 20-year old rookie center Zach Collins saw extended minutes Monday night, finishing with nine points, seven rebounds, three steals and two assists before fouling out in 25 minutes.
"I feel pretty good. Offensively, still got to be a little more patient trying to score the ball and stuff, taking my time on my jumpshot and everything," said Collins. "But besides that, I think I'm playing fine."
The 7-0 rookie out of Gonzaga has now played a combined 44 minutes in Portland's last two games, more than he played in his first 24 games combined as a pro.
"Obviously we have guys down now so other guys have to step up and we have to continue to play good," said Collins. "So that's all I'm trying to do is step up and try to help the team win. If that means I play more, then I play more. Whatever Coach decides to do, that's on him and I'm ready for whatever."
With the west coast portion of their five-game road trip now complete, the Trail Blazers head east to South Beach for a Wednesday night tilt versus the Miami Heat at American Airlines Arena. Tipoff is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. on NBC Sports Northwest and Rip City Radio 620 AM.