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 team’s 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 wouldn’t 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 team’s 99-92 win over the Mavericks. In addition to Ellis, the Warriors bench played an important role in Saturday’s 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.
Stephen Curry has been named a division winner of the 2010-11 NBA Sportsmanship Award ... Warriors guard Acie Law had his injured right wrist examined on Tuesday and did not travel with the team on its recent road trip … Prior to Sunday's game, Jeremy Lin was recalled from Reno of the NBA Developmental League ... Vote for the Warrior Girls! The NBA Dance Team Contest is underway and the Warrior Girls have advanced to the third round. Watch video of the dance squads and cast your vote by clicking here … Warriors owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber were recently featured on NBA TV’s True NBA. Click here to watch the video … Send Lacob and Guber an e-mail and see if your question is answered in the next entry of the Owners’ Box … The Warriors signed free agent forward Al Thornton on March 3 ... As part of his 'Winning Voices' series, Warriors Co-Owner Peter Guber sat down with Stephen Curry to discuss the second-year guard's personal story regarding his journey to the NBA.
WARRIORS WEEKLY TV AND RADIO SHOWS:
Full-length segments of the Warriors Weekly TV Show are available by clicking here, and be sure to catch the next episode on Monday (April 4) at 6:30 p.m. on CSN Bay Area ... The Warriors Weekly Radio Show typically airs on Thursday nights at 9 p.m. on KNBR 680. Listen to past shows by clicking here.
Take a look back at the Warriors’ first-ever Bollywood Night in warriors.com’s latest blog entry. Watch a video and view photos of the team’s celebration of Indian culture.