NBA PLAYOFFS: Golden State Warriors Take Game 1, Beat Portland 121-109
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, Oakland, Calif. – The best backcourt in the NBA probably went up against the second-best backcourt in the league on Sunday afternoon.
At the end of Game 1 in the first round of the playoffs, the best backcourt duo for the Golden State Warriors proved to have a little more help than its opponent.
Kevin Durant had 32 points, 10 rebounds, and two assists and Draymond Green had 19 points, 12 rebounds, and nine assists to give the Golden State Warriors a 121-109 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in the first game of Round 1.
Stephen Curry added 29 points, five rebounds, and four assists and backcourt mate Klay Thompson added 15 points, three rebounds, and two assists for the Warriors (1-0), who made 43-of-81 shots from the field at 53.1 percent.
The Warriors withstood the backcourt play of CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard of the Trail Blazers (0-1), who combined for 75 points. McCollum had 41 points, eight rebounds, and one steal while Lillard contributed 34 points five rebounds, three assists and two steals.
CJ McCollum, left, and Damian Lillard of the Portland Trail Blazers discuss the team's loss on April 16, 2017. Publicity Agents photo art by A. Ray Harvey.
The rest of the Trail Blazers made 12-of-39 shots from the field for 34 points. Portland head coach Terry Stotts said his team is going to have to step it up against a high-powered offense.
“It’s going to take a team to beat them,” Stotts said. “We need everybody. Guys have to be ready to make shots. Damian and CJ, if they get 80 between them, we still need to score another 40 or 50 somewhere.”
McCollum and Lillard were the focal point of the Trail Blazers’ offense, but Green, on the other hand, was the all-around force for the Warriors. Green had five blocked shots in the game, all five in spectacular fashion. Of course, Green was doing his pesty trash talking throughout the game.
“I think having a guy like that on the floor raises the level of the game because I don’t even trash talk,” Lillard said of playing against Green. “He was saying so much out there that I had to a lot to say tonight. It’s just going to raise the level of my game because I take it as a challenge.”
Green said Portland’s backcourt troupe we’re “making some tough shots,” but when it came to the fourth quarter, the Warriors had to make some adjustments. McCollum combined for 13 points in the fourth quarter.
“You don’t let them roll because they can beat you,” Green said of one of the best backcourts in the league besides Curry and Thompson. “You’ve got to give them credit. When they get going like that they are the toughest in the league to stop. But at some point we knew that we had to make a defensive stand and that we would get some stops. All of sudden they weren’t getting a bunch of easy stuff.”
Golden State's Draymond Green on April 16, 2017. Publicity Agents photo art by A. Ray Harvey.
McCollum and Lillard did all the heavy lifting in the first half by combining for 48 of Portland’s 56 points in the first half. McCollum had 27 points while Lillard dropped in 21 points.
The backcourt duo made 17-of-26 shots from the field in the first 24 minutes. Kevin Durant had 16 points and Curry scored 13 points in the first half for the Warriors. The games was tied 56-56 at the break.
The game was tied 77-77 in the third quarter when the Warriors broke away with an 8-0 run. The Trail Blazers still would not go away and mounted an 11-3 run capped off with a three-point play by Pat Cunningham to tie the game and end the third quarter at 88-88.
The Warriors opened up with a 15-2 run to open the final quarter and never looked back. Golden State outscored the Trail Blazers 33-21 in the fourth quarter. The Warriors have won four-straight opening games of the postseason dating back to the 2014 First Round game against the Los Angeles Clippers.
Game 2 is on Wednesday, April 19, at 7:30 p.m., PST, at the Oracle.
“Everybody that steps on the floor is going to have an impact on the game,” Curry said of the Warriors. “(We) Got to do it by committee at times.”
By T. Ray Harvey | PA Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist
Twitter: Tony Ray Harvey @PublicityAgents
TRAIL BLAZERS: Jusuf Nurkic did not play for the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 due to a right leg injury. Noah Vonleh started at center for Portland.
WARRIORS: Golden State has won 11 of their last 12 games against the Trail Blazers, regular season and postseason combined.
T. Ray (Antonio) Harvey is a Public Information Officer and Photographic Artist for Publicity Agents. Harvey is also the author of