Trail Blazers Finish Trip .500 After Losing Rubber Match To Curry, Warriors
SAN FRANCISCO -- After a decisive victory in the first meeting two nights ago, the Portland Trail Blazers finished a four-game road trip, their first of the season, with a 137-122 loss to the Golden State Warriors Sunday night at Chase Center San Francisco.
Portland is now 3-3 overall and finish the trip by going 2-2. The loss breaks a three-game winning streak versus Golden State.
“If you can go .500 on the road, in general, that’s a good thing, but losing the last game of the trip was disappointing,” said Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts. “We had a chance to go 3-1, which would have been great, but anytime you go on the road against three quality opponents and split that’s probably a good thing. But it’s just a little disappointing right now having won two out of the first three.”
After besting the Warriors 123-98 at Chase Center Friday night, the hope was that they Trail Blazers could repeat the performance and head home from an all-California road trip with a 3-1 record.
But Golden State guard Stephen Curry had other plans.
After having his ability to lead the Warriors without Draymond Green and Klay Thompson called into question, despite being a two-time MVP and three-time NBA champion, Curry came out motivated Sunday night, scoring 21 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the field and 2-of-5 shooting from three in the first quarter.
“The first game we won by 25 points on their home floor,” said Damian Lillard. “It is obvious that we should expect them to come out with a much better effort. They are a championship organization. They are not going to come out here and feel bad for themselves. They are going to come out, compete and have some pride about themselves. We expected it.”
Curry would slow down a bit in the second quarter, scoring 10 points in six minutes on 3-of-7 shooting, to help the Warriors take a 12-point lead into the halftime break.
Golden State pushed the lead to 20 after a 13-5 run gave the home team a 90-70 lead with 4:18 to play. But with Damian Lillard heating up late in the quarter, Portland managed to cut the lead to 97-83 going into the fourth and final quarter.
The Blazers methodically chipped away at the lead at the start of the fourth. Their defense never got all that stiff, but with Curry out of the game to start the quarter, they got just enough stopped to make it interesting. Between Lillard, CJ McCollum and Enes Kanter, who scored 13 points in the fourth quarter alone, the Blazers got the Warriors lead down to seven with five minutes to play.
But Curry would eventually return to score 17 points in the final six minutes to finish the game with a career-high 62 points and a 15-point victory for his team.
“(Curry) did a little bit of everything,” said Stotts. “I mean, he penetrated the lane, he was 10-for-15 from two’s, got to the free throw line, obviously he shot some threes. He had 31 at half and he only made three 3’s. So, he scored a variety of ways. When we tried to get the ball out of his hands he’s able to get it back in his hands. It was a great performance by a great player.”
Lillard led the Blazers with 32 points on 10-of-24 shooting, four rebounds and four assists in 39 minutes. CJ McCollum added 28 points on 10-of-23 shooting, nine rebounds, five assists and two steals in 38 minutes.
Kanter finished with 24 points and 12 rebounds in 24 minutes off the bench. Carmelo Anthony was Portland’s only other double-digit scorer with 10 points, though he would foul out in 27 minutes.
While Curry scored nearly half of his teams points, a number of his teammates had their best game of the season as well, Andrew Wiggins shot 50 percent from the field for 21 points to go with seven rebounds, two assists and two blocks. Kelly Oubre Jr. added 17 points and Eric Paschall came off the bench to score 10. Rookie James Wiseman had logged the first double-double of his career with 12 points and 11 rebounds in 21 minutes.
With their trip now complete, the Trail Blazers will play 10 of their next 12 games at the Moda Center starting with a contest versus the Chicago Bulls.
“We weren’t the better team tonight,” said Lillard. And they did all the things that they need to do to win the game. We can’t hang our heads and beat ourselves up too bad. We just didn’t play a good enough game to win it. We are leaving this trip 2-2 and going back home 3-3. We have to get better and go protect our home court now.”
Tipoff is scheduled for Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.