Blazers Fall in First Game at Chase Center
SAN FRANCISCO – Golden State’s new building across the bridge didn’t offer a warm welcome to the Trail Blazers on Monday night. Portland, 3-4 on the year, dropped its second straight game, 127-118, to Golden State, who improved to 2-5 on the season.
“I think it’s a wake-up call,” Damian Lillard said postgame. “Obviously, us understanding how short-handed they were as far as with as many of their guys being out, and still being beat. It’s a wake-up call that you got to come correct playing in the NBA. You can get beat on any given night regardless of who’s on the floor because these guys are here for a reason.”
Lillard has had plenty of big games in front of his hometown fans – he scored 37+ points three times at Oracle Arena - and Golden State’s move to the other side of the bay did nothing to change things. Damian Lillard led all scorers with a season-high 39 points (15-26 FG).
But Warriors rookie Eric Paschall stole the show in front of the home fans, scoring 36 points – the most by any rookie in the NBA this season – to go with 13 rebounds. Five other players scored in double figures for the Warriors, who closed the game out with excellent free throw shooting (33-36).
“They deserved to win,” said Head Coach Terry Stotts. “We didn’t play well enough to win a game. They had a lot of young guys playing hard and competing, and (they) got in a rhythm and deserved to win.”
The Warriors took a 34-32 lead into the first quarter break behind 17 points from Paschall. The Trail Blazers gained a 63-60 advantage by halftime in a game neither team led by more than seven points in the first 24 minutes. But the Warriors regained the lead with a quick burst out of the locker room and led most of the second half.
“Early in the game different guys were seeing the ball go in, the ball started hopping around, they started playing a little bit faster, the crowd got a little bit louder,” said Lillard. “You could just see them getting more and more confident.”
Despite the result, there was good news for Portland on the injury front. Hassan Whiteside not only returned but produced one of his best games of the early season – 22 points (10-14 FG) and 11 rebounds - after suffering a left knee bone bruise in Wednesday's game in Oklahoma City. Rodney Hood, who was helped off the court with a left knee injury in Saturday’s game against the 76ers, also returned to the starting lineup.
- Whiteside recorded his third double-double of the season. He didn’t skip a beat after missing Saturday’s game, scoring 14 points on 6-for-6 shooting in the first half.
- Anfernee Simons (14 points) scored in double digits off the Blazers bench for the fourth time this season.
- Mario Hezonja (11 points, 3-5 3-PT) scored in double figures for the second straight game.
- Damian Lillard toppled 30 points for the 131st time in his career, passing Clyde Drexler for the most 30-point games in Trail Blazers history.
- The Trail Blazers committed just six turnovers on the night (leading to only three points).
- After making a season-high 19 three-pointers Saturday vs. Philadelphia, Portland knocked down 13 more triples (but on 40 attempts).
"They’re obviously very injured. A lot of star power is not there, so they’re playing care-free basketball. They outplayed us tonight.” – CJ McCollum, who finished with 14 points and a team-high six assists
After a couple days off, the Trail Blazers face the LA Clippers in the second and final game of the road trip on Thursday at Staples Center. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. on TNT.