Gameday: Warriors vs. Trail Blazers - 3/30/13
Stephen Curry had it going from start to finish in Saturday’s 125-98 home win over the Trail Blazers. Curry connected on seven 3-pointers for a game-high 39 points and Carl Landry was equally hot from the field with 25 points on 9-of-10 shooting. The Warriors shot 72.7 from the field in the first quarter and cruised to their fifth win in their last seven games, reducing their magic number to reach the playoffs to five. Now 3-1 on their current five-game homestand, the Warriors will look to keep the momentum going on Wednesday when they host the Hornets.
On Stephen Curry:
"It's amazing the clinic he is putting on. It's absolutely amazing. You see the shots go up and you are shocked when they miss. You hear the sighs from the fans and the eyes off the opponent and your own team and you look at the bench - we are witnessing one of the greatest shooters that have ever played this game. And he's in the discussion with anybody that has ever played."
On if he expected a bounce back game from Stephen Curry:
"Yes, I think he is a different player right now. He's been great for us all season long, but he is on the floor like he is the baddest dude in the building. He's playing with a chip, with an edge, with a belief and with a swag that the great ones played with. I have no concerns about him. The great ones have bad nights, but I know that he will bounce back. What he is doing is he is giving life to his teammates. Not only does he believe that he is the baddest dude, but they believe they have a chance because of how special he is."
On Carl Landry:
"I thought he was great. He gave us a scoring punch, he rebounded, he defended, he battled and he played with great force. When he plays like that we are a different team."
On if the team feeds off of Carl Landry:
"They do because they feed off of each other's success and they really pull for one another. It's great to see. They know what type of impact he has on the ballgame. He gives us a scorer off the bench, post presence, toughness with an edge - makes us so much better."
On the second unit's defensive effort:
"I thought we were scoring with ease in the first quarter. Out of a timeout it was 28 a piece, but they were also scoring. We were not defending. Give our second unit, majority of the guys - they had an impact on the game. They began to defend and we were able to separate ourselves and that is the key."
On when the team gets in a rhythm:
"Just keep the pace that we wanted. We especially made the point at halftime the last three games we really went tempo in the first half and then got passive in the second. We've got to keep the tempo up to our Warriors pace."
On when he gets in a rhythm:
On when the whole team contributes to a win:
"It sets us up for the next game. We've done it before but we haven't been consistent with it. We've proven that we can do it against a team that played last night, but for us to come out the next game against New Orleans and take care of business the same way, it's our test to close out the season."
On the difference between Wednesday night and tonight:
"I think that loss really hurt. They're a Sacramento team that had beat us twice already coming into that game and we couldn't protect our home court. We needed that game. That stung and I think our guys remembered that game. We wanted to come out and win tonight."
On tonight's game:
"Very exciting for the fans. I thought the team overall played real well and, compared to the Sacramento game, did a great job of coming out in the second half taking care of business and taking care of ourselves."
On the team's shooting performance in the first half:
"We talked about it that there are going to be a few games during the season where you can’t make a shot and lose, and there are going to be games where you make a good percentage of your shots. I thought we shot the ball well on top of the fact that we played solid defense, so that was a very good game for our team."
On Stephen Curry:
"We have confidence he can have nights like that, but still it’s incredible when he’s out there in a groove like that. Just the level of difficulty of the shots he hits is unbelievable. He’s having a great season and I’m happy to have him as our point guard."
On his performance:
"I think it was just like any other night. My teammates found me and put me in great position to get the ball. I was just able to make my shots."
On the team's bench play tonight:
"We didn’t get off to the best of starts tonight and that’s something we have to fix going into the end of the season and going into the playoffs. The second unit came in there with a lot of energy and gave us a lift. They turned the game around and gave the team a boost."
On the Warriors having an advantage over Portland's bench:
"We knew that LaMarcus Aldridge was out and the front line would be a little thin. At the end of the day in the locker room we were just focused on ourselves and that’s something we have to focus on at the end of the season."
ON TO THE NEXT ONE
After a disappointing loss to the Kings on Wednesday night, the Warriors will look to get back on track when they host the visiting Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday. It will be the second of three meetings between the two teams this season, with the last encounter falling on the last game of the season for both squads. Golden State prevailed in the first matchup on January 11, winning 103-97 at home despite an amazing performance and 37 points from Oakland native Damian Lillard. The likely Rookie of the Year may have snuck up on the Warriors in that game, but they surely won’t make the same mistake again. Both teams are in the thick of the fight for the final three playoff spots in the West, so expect emotions to be riding high as they battle it out on Saturday night.
LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors mounted a thrilling fourth quarter comeback but ultimately fell short in a 105-98 loss to the Kings at Oracle Arena on Wednesday. The loss came on David Lee Bobblehead Night, and the All-Star racked up his league-leading 49th double-double with 20 points and 10 rebounds. Stephen Curry struggled to find his shot but facilitated well, totaling a double-double of his own with 17 points and 12 assists. Andrew Bogut finished with 12 points, nine rebounds, four blocked shots and two assists.
Every team experiences it throughout the NBA season. There are nights when you’re on top of your game, and there are nights when you can’t take the lid off the basket. Those things are going to happen. However, the best teams in this league manage to overcome those off-nights by playing with a resiliency that sets them apart from the non-contenders. That resiliency was missing on Wednesday when the Warriors fell to the Kings for the third time this season in a game that was close throughout. But the other common characteristic of the best teams in the league is the ability to bounce back following disappointment. Yes, the Warriors would love to have beaten Sacramento that night, but that can’t linger in their minds. Especially at this late point in the season, it has to be understood that a win is a win and each game carries the same value, regardless of who the opposition is. If the Warriors do indeed make the playoffs, they are certain to encounter significant adversity once they get there. Developing that bounce-back factor now will be essential if they hope to make any serious noise in the postseason.
PAINT IT GOLD
As disappointing as Wednesday’s loss was, there were some bright spots that could be key for the Warriors moving forward. Most notably, Golden State dominated with their inside game, outscoring the Kings by 30 points in the paint with 68 of their own. Those 68 points in the paint were a season-high for the Warriors, and it could be a good sign that this kind of performance came with less than 10 games remaining in the season. As Andrew Bogut rounds into shape and David Lee continues to put up All-Star numbers, it becomes increasingly clear that the Warriors are more than just a collection of sharpshooting guards. Rather, they possess two talented big men in the starting lineup that can rival any front line their possible playoff opponents can put out on the floor. It has to be an encouraging sign that Bogut continues to look better and better with each game, a trend the Warriors certainly hope he can continue into the postseason. If it does, the Warriors stand a much better chance of advancing in the playoffs, and those points in the paint will be a big reason why.
PORTLAND SCOUTING REPORT
It is most certainly crunch time for the boys from Rip City. Sitting 3.5 games back of the Lakers for the West’s eighth and final playoff spot, the Trail Blazers are feeling the pressure and need every win they can get down the backstretch of the season. Led by All-Star LaMarcus Aldridge and rookie phenom Damian Lillard, Portland possesses more than enough talent to compete with the best of the West. Lillard, the likely NBA Rookie of the Year, has been a revelation this season, averaging 19.1 points and 6.5 assists per game. Having already dropped a very impressive 37 points in his previous visit to Oracle, you can bet the Warriors will spend a little extra time preparing for the dynamic young point guard this time around. With both teams desperately needing every win they can get, this matchup is sure to be an entertaining one. In addition to bolstering their playoff position, the Warriors certainly wouldn’t mind dealing a crushing blow to one of their pursuers.
GSW: Brandon Rush (torn ACL and MCL, left knee) is out.
POR: Sasha Pavlovic (right quad) is doubtful. LaMarcus Aldridge (right ankle) and Elliot Williams (left Achilles tendon) will not play.