Dubs’ Winning Streak Snapped in Portland
Durant’s 40 Points Not Enough to Stop Surging Blazers
The Warriors suffered their first loss since the All-Star break, falling to the Trail Blazers 125-108 on Friday night in Portland.
Playing shorthanded on the back end of a back-to-back, the Dubs couldn’t keep pace with Portland. The Trail Blazers ended the second, third and fourth quarters on momentum-changing runs, and for the second time in the last month, a big night from Kevin Durant was squandered in Portland.
With the loss, the Dubs missed out on opportunity to move back into first place in the Western Conference, as the Rockets had lost earlier in the day to Toronto. The Warriors remain a half-game back of Houston in the standings.
DURANT’S HOT HAND
With the Warriors struggling from the opening tip, Kevin Durant inserted himself into the action early. He had 14 points in the opening quarter and helped the Dubs overcome a 15-point deficit before the Trail Blazers eventually ran away with the game. Durant netted a game-high 40 points, adding six rebounds, six assists and two blocks, marking his second big scoring night in Portland this season after scoring 50 points in the Dubs’ previous loss to the Blazers on Feb. 14. The reigning NBA Finals MVP connected on six 3-pointers and is now shooting 12-for-21 from distance over his last three games.
200+ THREES FOR KLAY
Did someone say SPLASH? Klay Thompson knocked down four threes of his own and in the process surpassed the 200 3-pointer milestone (203). This marks the sixth straight season with at least 200 treys for Klay Thompson, and the only player in the history of the NBA to achieve that feat is the other Splash Brother, Stephen Curry, who didn’t travel to Portland after tweaking his ankle in Thursday’s win over the Spurs.
STRUGGLES IN PORTLAND
Although the game was much closer than the final score would indicate, the Dubs simply ran out of gas. Playing without Curry, Andre Iguodala and David West among others, the Dubs were on the short end of some game-changing runs to end quarters. Portland ended the first half on a 9-2 run to pad their lead, and then a 10-0 Trail Blazers spurt to close the third quarter turned a four-point Warriors advantage into a six-point defict. The Dubs, however, would battle back to make it a one-point game with just under nine minutes left, but a Portland 3-pointer blitz and repeated trips to the free throw line resulted in the Blazers ending the game on a 33-17 run.
CJ McCollum tallied 30 points on the night and Damian Lillard added 28 for the Blazers, who have now won nine straight games and 15 of their last 16 at home. Portland becomes just the second team this season to beat the Dubs for a second time.
The Dubs will have Saturday off before taking on the Timberwolves on Sunday in a nationally televised matinee. The game will mark the third straight Warriors matchup against a Western Conference team currently in place to make the playoffs. The Dubs have won this season’s first two meetings with the Timberwolves, and Sunday’s game will mark the team’s first and only regular season trip to Minnesota this season.