The Warriors got back to their winning ways on Sunday with an impressive 103-88 victory over the visiting Portland Trail Blazers. Stephen Curry was fantastic yet again, scoring 38 points to go with eight assists and seven rebounds. David Lee (17 points, 12 rebounds) and Andre Iguodala (12 points, 10 rebounds) both posted double doubles, while Klay Thompson added 17 points of his own. The win pushes the Warriors record to 27-18. They’ll look to keep it rolling when they take on the Wizards on Tuesday.
On tonight's defensive effort:
“I thought we did a great job paying attention to detail. We started the game off the right way. Just a big time win against a very good basketball team.”
On the importance of the first quarter:
“It’s not a results oriented league in terms of coaching. You can play great defense and they can still score. They are that good offensively. What I like is that we paid attention to detail and didn’t have any game plan breakdowns. We battled, we competed and we made multiple effort plays and we continued that all night long.”
On why tonight was a 'Big Win' against Portland:
“We haven’t been playing well defensively. We’ve been scoring the basketball, WE have no problem with that. We’ve been out of rhythm and out of sync on the defensive end. During the course of the season you are going to have nights like that. The good or great teams make sure that that does not become a stretch or a prolonged period of time that you play that way. We were not satisfied. I’ve got a bunch of guys in the locker room with high character that want to win and they have responded.”
On Draymond Green being the first player off the bench:
“Guys were playing well, that’s it. The majority of the time the first sub off the bench, in general, will be Harrison (Barnes). Other than that I don’t know which way I will go. The game will dictate it. Draymond (Green) has the ability to defend against a team that is dangerous against the pick-and-rolls and I just went with the flow.”
On how he thought the bench performed:
“I thought they did great. I thought Jordan Crawford had his best game. He put the team in pick-and-roll situations, looked to score, looked to make plays and was unselfish. He felt very comfortable out there on the floor. I thought the second unit guys did a great job. Harrison (Barnes) battled and competed and Draymond (Green) was outstanding. I thought the bench did a good job of coming in and holding the fort down and in some cases separating us.”
On their defensive effort vs. Portland's shooting:
“It’s not whether they miss the shot. Damian Lillard missed a shot in the corner in the fourth quarter, and then Steph (Stephen Curry) chased him down and tried to contest. That wasn’t our defense. We recognize good and bad defense. We held an elite offensive team to 33 percent and their lowest scoring output of the year, says a lot about our defense. Now we have to build on it. We have to make sure we don’t have nights where teams are scoring 127, 121 and 116 – as much as we can score that’s unacceptable.“
On David Lee:
“I thought he was spectacular. He was playing against a big time player in LaMarcus Aldridge. A player that is in the discussion for MVP. I thought David (Lee) battled him, fought him defensively, made him work and kept him off the boards. One of his better games. Great to watch.”
TIME TO GET BACK ON TRACK
After a tough loss on Friday night, the Warriors will look to get back on track when they host the Portland Trail Blazers. The second of four matchups between the two teams will have a special 6 p.m. start time, and a limited number of tickets are still available. The Warriors head into the game looking to break out of a funk that has seen them lose five of their last seven games since their 10-game winning streak. BUY TICKETS
LAST TIME OUT
A last-second shot from Harrison Barnes rimmed out and the Warriors suffered a 121-120 loss on Friday night at Oracle Arena. Minnesota’s Kevin Martin sank what turned out to be a game-winning shot with 8.4 seconds left in the game, marking the fifth lead change in a back-and-forth fourth quarter. Stephen Curry had 33 points and 15 assists and David Lee had 23 points as the Dubs lost their third straight home game. Klay Thompson had 18 points Andre Iguodala scored 11 of his 16 points in the fourth quarter, including a pair of free throws that put the Dubs ahead right before Martin knocked down his game-winner. GAME RECAP
IGUODALA BOUNCES BACK
Throughout the course of his career, Andre Iguodala has showcased tremendous versatility. He has been the clear-cut number one option, he’s been a facilitator and a defensive stopper. On a team that has no trouble scoring, Iguodala doesn’t need to be relied upon for big numbers with the Warriors, but that’s not to say that he is incapable of filling up the scoring column. Iguodala had 16 points on Friday, a feat he’s surpassed just once since the second week of November. The swingman scored the final nine points for the Warriors and was one of the main reasons why the team had a chance to win the game on their final possession. If the Warriors can continue to get offensive production from Iguodala on a consistent basis, whether he’s scoring or assisting made baskets, the team should have no trouble in getting back in the win column.
IT STARTS WITH DEFENSE
For the majority of the season, the Warriors have been a top-five team in defensive efficiency, but lately the team has struggled opposite the ball. Particularly, they have allowed opponents to shoot a high percentage early in games, allowing 30-plus points in the first quarter in seven of the last 11 games. The Dubs have yielded 120 points in three of the last five games, losing all three games despite scoring 116, 121 and 120 points in those contests. Sunday’s defensive assignments won’t get any easier, as the Trail Blazers lead the NBA in offensive efficiency (110.6 points per 100 possessions).
PORTLAND SCOUTING REPORT
The Trail Blazers will head in to Sunday’s showdown after beating the Mavericks on Saturday at home. Portland has won seven of their last nine games, including a 110-105 win over Denver that saw LaMarcus Aldridge score a season-high 44 points. Aldridge, a 6-foot-11 forward, is having a career-year, averaging 24.6 points and 11.5 rebounds per game. He’s a lock to be named an All-Star when the reserves are announced on Thursday, and he has a very dangerous supporting cast that includes Oakland native Damian Lillard. The Blazers, the second-best 3-point shooting team in the NBA, beat the Warriors in the first head-to-head matchup between the two teams, and the Warriors will look to avenge that defeat in front of what is likely to be the 58th consecutive sellout crowd at Oracle Arena.
GSW: Festus Ezeli (recovery from right knee surgery), Nemanja Nedovic (left hamstring strain) and Jermaine O’Neal (recovery from right wrist surgery) are out. Ognjen Kuzmic is on assignment with the Santa Cruz Warriors of the D-League.