Blazers Head Home After Falling in the Bay
OAKLAND – Golden State’s second-quarter surge proved too much to overcome as Portland dropped the final game of its road trip 125-97 at the hands of the Warriors in front of a sellout crowd of Friday night 19,598 Oracle Arena.
"I thought the second quarter, Golden State's second unit came in and played with a lot of energy," said Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. "I thought Jordan Bell was running around, diving on balls, they were getting second-chance points, the picked up their defensive intensity, did a lot of switching. The way their second unit came in, I thought they changed the game."
Portland is now 12-7 overall and 5-5 on the road this season. With the loss, they finish a six-city, 11-day road trip with a 2-4 record, with those four losses coming by an average of 21.5 points.
"A championship team, you’ve got to know what can happen. It’s something that we’ve got to look at and see why is this happening," said Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard. "Why are we losing these games by such a wide margin. But then also understand that you can lose by two, a heartbreaker or lose by 30, a loss is a loss. But after the trip we’ve just got to go back and correct things, get back to our foundation and get back to the things that we’ve done to make us the team that we started of the season as."
The Warriors (13-7), playing without Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, looked determined to snap their four-game losing streak – the team’s longest since 2013. Whether it was Golden State shooting 52 percent from the field in the first half or turning seven Portland turnovers into 19 points, the Trail Blazers weren't able to keep pace nor catch a break as the Warriors pulled away.
"It was like seven turnovers for 19 points, which is remarkable," said Stotts. "They took advantage of every time we turned it over. When we played in a crowd, they got it out quickly."
Golden State outscored Portland, 35-17, during the decisive second quarter that included a 22-3 run.
"This is probably the most disappointing game of the trip because they had two guys out with injuries and we had a day of rest," said Stotts. "This was probably the one that we really needed to get."
Damian Lillard (23 points, 8 assists), Jusuf Nurkic (22 points, 8 rebounds) and CJ McCollum (19 points, 5 assists) combined for 64 Portland points. Kevin Durant (32 points, 8 rebounds, 7 assists) and Klay Thompson (31 points, 8 rebounds) led the way for the Warriors.
"To be honest, the Warriors were due for a game like this," Stotts lamented. "They've had some losses in a row and they were kind of slowed down a little bit. I think they tried to get back to the style of play that they needed to play."
Lillard eclipsed a legend in the losing effort. The 6-3 guard from Weber State passed Terry Porter (11,330) to become the third-leading scorer in franchise history (11,341). Lillard is on pace to pass LaMarcus Aldridge (12,562) for second place later this year, leaving only one name to chase – Clyde Drexler (18,040) – over the next few seasons.
The Trail Blazers now return home after their second-longest road trip of the season with three games at Moda Center beginning Sunday against the LA Clippers. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.