Coming off a quality win on Saturday night, the Warriors will look for further success on the road when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers. The third of four meetings between the two teams this season will tip off at 7 p.m. and be broadcast on CSN Bay Area (HD) and KNBR 1050.
The Warriors have played Portland well this season, coming within a last-second shot of completing a 15-point comeback in a narrow defeat on December 18, and posting a 109-102 victory on Christmas night. A common ingredient to the teams success in each of those games was Monta Ellis. The sixth-year guard is averaging 32.5 points and 6.0 assists against Portland this season, and his point total is his highest against any opponent.
Another big game from Ellis wouldnt be all that surprising considering his performance on Saturday. Although there were questions about whether or not he would play, Ellis quickly erased any concerns of his strained right ankle and erupted for 18 of his 32 points in the third quarter of the teams 99-92 win over the Mavericks. In addition to Ellis, the Warriors bench played an important role in Saturdays victory. Al Thornton had 12 points, all of which were scored in the fourth quarter, and nine rebounds, and Lou Amundson had eight points and 10 rebounds. Contributions from the bench have been needed all season, and more performances like those from Saturday can certainly give the Warriors a lift as they close out the season.
What can also benefit the Warriors is the defensive effort they displayed on Saturday. Dallas shot just 34.0 percent from the field in the second half and Dirk Nowitzki was held to 16 points on 5-of-16 shooting. Quality defense has fueled success for the Warriors this season, as the team is 16-4 when holding the opposition to less than 100 points.
Trying to get over the century mark will be a Portland team that is in a tight race for postseason seeding. Only one game separates sixth through eighth place in the West, so the Trail Blazers are treating every game like a playoff game. Portland has won eight-straight games at home, and even though Brandon Roy is playing limited minutes, players like LaMarcus Aldridge, Wesley Matthews, Marcus Camby and Andre Miller have picked up the slack. The Trail Blazers are marching toward the playoffs, and the Warriors would like nothing more than to take down a playoff team for the second time in as many games.
Following Tuesday's game, the Warriors will come back home to host Kobe Bryant and the Lakers on Wednesday, and Family and Friends contestlower level ticket packages are still available. The Warriors will then host the Kings in another Family and Friends contest at Oracle Arena on Sunday, April 10. Golden State will then play in Denver on Monday, April 11, before closing out the season with a Fan Appreciation Night contest against the Trail Blazers on Wednesday, April 13, at Oracle Arena.
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