Trail Blazers Fall To Warriors In Contentious Rematch At Moda Center

by Casey Holdahl
Follow @chold

PORTLAND -- Two nights ago in Oakland, the Trail Blazers got their first win versus the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena in over five years.

It didn't take the Warriors nearly that long to return the favor.

After having one of their worst shooting nights of the season in their loss Thursday night, the Warriors shot 50 percent from the field, 48 from three and 82 from the free throw line to beat the Trail Blazers 115-105 in front of a sellout crowd of 19,797 Saturday night at the Moda Center.

"I don’t think we necessarily played a good game but I thought we kept battling," said Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. "Obviously they led most of the game and I thought we made some good comebacks, but in the end, we let our guard down a few times – when you let your guard down, they take advantage of it. They made their threes and that’s a recipe for them to win."

The Trail Blazers are now 20-16 overall and 13-6 at home this season. The Warriors now lead the season series 2-1 with the final game to be played on February 13.

After a close first quarter, the Warriors outscored the Blazers 26-11 in the first eight and a half minutes of the second quarter to take their largest lead of the night at 56-38.

"They’re a great team, they’ve won three championships," said Damian Lillard. "They’re going to make shots. Sometimes it was contested but the ones we allowed them to get a little bit too much space, they made them tonight."

The rest of the night consisted of the Trail Blazers cutting the lead down to high single-digits, only to have the Warriors push the lead back up to a comfortable margin.

After trailing by 16 with just over five minutes to play, the Trail Blazers made one last attempt to get back into the game, going on a 10-0 run to cut the lead to 105-98 with just under three minutes to play.

But Stephen Curry would make a 17-foot pullup jumper and four free throws to push the lead back to 13 with 1:17 to play.

“They can run points off," said Damian Lillard. "You know, they can run points off and you let them hit two threes, turnover, another three – down nine. 9-0 run, it can happen fast."

With a game on the horizon Sunday night, Terry Stotts finally waved the white flag.

As one might expect when two teams play twice over the course of three days, Saturday night's game was a contentious affair, with six technical fouls and one ejection, which came due to Golden State's Andre Igoudala throwing the ball into the stands at the end of the second quarter.

TOP PERFORMERS

Damian Lillard scored a game-high 40 points (14-23 FG, 6-13 3-PT, 6-7 FT), with 20 of those points coming in the third quarter, to go with two rebounds and five assists. It was the fifth game of 40-plus points for Lillard this season, which matches the most 40-point games Lillard has had in a season in his career (five, 2016-17).

Jusuf Nurkic finished with 21 points (8-14 FG, 5-7 FT), 10 rebounds, seven assists and one block. It was his second straight game with 20-plus points and his 18th double-double of the season.

“I thought (Nurkic) was effective," said Terry Stotts. "It’s two games in a row that we were able to throw it to him in the post. I thought he made good reads to the weak side, scored on occasion. The last two games from that standpoint has been very encouraging, that we’ve been able to get him the ball on the post and he’s been able to score or force the double team."

CJ McCollum scored 14 points (6-17 FG, 0-5 3-PT, 2-2 FT) to go with five rebounds and one assist and Maurice Harkless recorded seven points (3-8 FG, 0-3 3-PT, 1-2 FT), nine rebounds, one assist, three steals and two blocks. His three steals were a season high.

Klay Thompson led the Warriors with 32 points (12-21 FG, 4-5 3-PT, 4-4 FT) to go with four rebounds, one assist and one steal. It was his second-highest scoring game of the season (52, Oct. 29 at Chicago).

Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant both finished with 25 points and Kevin Looney added 12 to round out Golden State's double-digit scorers.

LISTEN UP

NOTABLE

• The Trail Blazers outrebounded the Warriors, 46-42, and outscored them in the paint, 48-34.

• The Trail Blazers had 10 second chance points on 11 offensive rebounds while the Warriors had six second chance points on five offensive rebounds.

• Portland was outscored by the Warriors on the fastbreak, 29-9.

• The Trail Blazers recorded four blocks and six steals while Golden State notched four blocks and nine steals.

• Portland shot 18-of-22 (81.8%) from the free throw line while the Warriors made 23 of their 28 free throw attempts (82.1%).

NEXT UP

The Trail Blazers won't have much time to ruminate on Saturday's loss, as they host the Philadelphia 76ers in the second game of a home-and-home back-to-back Sunday night at the Moda Center.

“They’ve got a great team," said Lillard. "They’ve got obviously three great players – Embiid, Jimmy Butler and Ben Simmons – and they’ve got shooters around them. JJ Reddick is a vet, you know he’s going to come out and do what he does. They’ve got some developing young players and Wilson Chandler coming off the bench for them now. They’ve just got a really talented team and they complement each other well and it’s going to be another challenge."

Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.

NEXT UP:

  • Facebook
  • Twitter