Notebook: Warriors 125, Trail Blazers 98



Posted Mar 31, 2013 2:20 AM

Geoff Lepper, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Stephen Curry rebounded from a subpar performance with one of his best of the season, burying the Portland Trail Blazers with 39 points, six assists and five rebounds as the Golden State Warriors cruised to a 125-98 victory Saturday night.

Curry went 5-for-18 as the Warriors were shocked 105-98 by visiting Sacramento on Wednesday, but made sure there would be no such success for the Trail Blazers, whose late-season playoff run was pretty much halted in its tracks by a devastating collapse against Utah on Friday.

Curry sank all five shots in the first quarter, including a trio of 3-pointers, and finished 14-for-22 with seven treys. His 39 points ranked second on the season behind his career-high 54-point explosion at Madison Square Garden last month.

The decision clinched the Warriors' third winning season since 1993-94 and allowed sixth-place Golden State (42-32) to keep pace ahead of Houston (40-33), Utah (38-36) and the Lakers (38-36), all of whom won Saturday as well.

Portland rookie Damian Lillard, an Oakland native who dropped a career-high 37 against the Warriors on Jan. 11 in his first visit back to the Bay Area, was held to a 4-for-11 shooting night and 16 points this time. As All-Star big man LaMarcus Aldridge remained in Portland to treat a sprained right ankle, rookie center Meyers Leonard filled in for the Trail Blazers (33-40) with career highs in points (22) and rebounds (10).

QUOTABLE: "We are witnessing one of the greatest shooters that's ever played this game. ... (Curry) has been great for us all season long, but he's on the floor like he's the baddest dude in the building. He's playing with a chip, with an edge, with a swag that the great ones play with."

-- Warriors coach Mark Jackson

THE STAT: With his onslaught from behind the arc, Curry moved past Tim Hardaway and into possession of second place on the Warriors' career list for 3-point shooters, with 608. Jason Richardson is the club's all-time leader at 700. Of more immediate note, Curry has 236 3-pointers this season, and is on pace to knock down 263. If Curry has another couple of big nights over the Warriors' final eight games, Ray Allen's all-time NBA record of 269, set with Seattle in 2005-06, could be in real jeopardy.

TURNING POINT: Aldridge's absence was not felt too keenly by the Trail Blazers in their first unit, since Leonard stepped in for a second straight night and did a more-than-credible job in just his fourth career start. But the domino effect meant the Warriors' first big man off the bench, Carl Landry, was going up against the likes of rookies Victor Claver and Joel Freeland, with ugly results for the visitors; Landry racked up 11 points for the Warriors in his first 4:08 on the floor, helping Golden State go on a 17-3 run to bridge the first and second quarters. That push staked the Warriors to a 47-34 lead, and they never trailed again.

QUOTABLE II: "The kid (Curry) was lights out. He's been like that all season. He's an All-Star without the label. ... The way he's shooting the ball, nothing's farfetched. I wouldn't put (breaking Allen's record) past him."

-- Warriors guard Jarrett Jack

HOT: You could have your pick of highlight moments for Curry, but perhaps his most showman-like sequence came in the third quarter. It began with an acrobatic layup -- replete with a crash into a courtside cameraman -- continued with a steal at the other end and then, after nailing a pull-up 3 in transition, finished with Curry posing, perpendicular to the basket, as the Trail Blazers called timeout down 90-70. By the time Curry came to the bench -- along with everyone on the floor, as Jackson made a wholesale victory substitution with 6:19 remaining -- Andrew Bogut was waiting with a towel to try to fan off the red-hot Curry.

QUOTABLE III: "Just keep shooting."

-- Curry, on what goes through his mind while on a roll like Saturday's

NOT: Portland's bench was entirely overmatched. Before the Warriors called off the dogs midway through the fourth quarter, Golden State's reserves held a 33-10 edge in scoring, and shot 12-for-18 to Portland's combined total of 3-for-17.

FANTASY SPOTLIGHT: Landry was the biggest beneficiary of the poor play from Portland's reserves, finishing with 25 points and 10 rebounds, his second game with such numbers in his career. It was the first 25/10 performance by a Warriors reserve since Anthony Randolph hung 28 and 13 on Orlando on Dec. 5, 2009.

ROOKIE WATCH: Leonard continues to blossom for the Trail Blazers. He had never before carded an NBA double-double, and he also drained his first career 3-pointer as a pro.

INSIDE THE ARENA: A confluence of events brought a surprising amount of star power to Oracle Arena. TV star Matthew Perry sat courtside, next to Warriors co-owner and well-known Hollywood producer Peter Guber. Oakland A's outfielders Josh Reddick and Coco Crisp walked across the hall from the O.co Coliseum after finishing a 4-3 afternoon win against the San Francisco Giants to close out the club's spring training schedule. And former nine-time NBA All-Star Gary Payton -- himself an Oakland-bred point guard -- was in the house, presumably to see Lillard.

NOTABLE: Portland forward J.J. Hickson had his 40th double-double of the season with 15 points and 10 boards. ... Warriors forward Harrison Barnes will likely have a starring role in Nicolas Batum's nightmares for the next couple of weeks. Barnes delivered powerful slams for his first two buckets, each time beating Batum off the dribble to get to the rim. ... Wesley Matthews knocked down a pair of 3-pointers en route to 18 points, making the Trail Blazers the first team to have three players with at least 160 treys in the same season since the 2007-08 Phoenix Suns, who saw Leandro Barbosa, Raja Bell and Steve Nash reach that same plateau. ... With two makes pushing his total to 166 for the season, Lillard tied Curry's mark for most 3-pointers by a rookie.

UP NEXT: For the Trail Blazers, Monday @ Utah, Wednesday vs. Memphis, Friday vs. Houston. For the Warriors, Wednesday vs. New Orleans, Friday @ Phoenix, Sunday vs. Utah.