Monte Poole

Gameday: Draymond will play; Curry vs Lillard the matchup to watch

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AP

Gameday: Draymond will play; Curry vs Lillard the matchup to watch

The Warriors play their final game prior to the All-Star break Wednesday night against the Trail Blazers at Moda Center in Portland.

The Warriors (44-13) recovered from a stretch during which they lost three of four games by winning their last three, all at home, by an average margin of 27 points.

The Blazers (31-26) in their last game had a nine-game home win streak snapped with a 115-96 loss to the red-hot Utah Jazz.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 6

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Stephen Curry vs. Damian Lillard: Two of the most explosive scorers in history, both with deep range and the ability to take over a game. They won’t always defend each other, but either starts cooking his team usually follows. Each ranks among the top 10 scorers for the third consecutive season, Curry fourth (26.8 ppg) and Lillard (25.8) sixth. When either starts cooking his team usually follows.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: F Draymond Green (L index finger sprain) and F/C Kevon Looney (R knee soreness) listed as questionable were upgraded prior to shootaround. G Pat McCaw (L/R wrist injuries) and F Jordan Bell (L ankle inflammation) are listed as out.

Trail Blazers: C Jusuf Nurkic (R calf strain, right oblique strain, low back soreness) is listed as questionable.

LAST 10

Warriors: 7-3. Blazers: 6-4.

GAME OFFICIALS

Bill Spooner (crew chief), Tony Brown, Leon Wood

SERIES HISTORY

The Warriors won the first of three meetings this season, 111-104, on Dec. 11 in Oakland. The Warriors swept the four-game series last season and are 11-1 against the Blazers in the Steve Kerr era.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

THE 3 BALLS: The Warriors lead the NBA in 3-point shooting accuracy at 39.3 percent. They’re at a league-best 40 percent since Jan. 1. The Blazers rank third overall, at 37.9 percent, but since Jan. 1 have shot at a 39.5-percent clip, second best in the NBA. As good as Curry and Lillard are, their backcourt mates, Klay Thompson and CJ McCollum, are shooting 3-balls at a higher percentage.

FOCUS LEVELS: This being the final game for each team prior to the All-Star break, there is the likelihood that some players may not be fully engaged. If so, that should benefit the Warriors, who have greater overall depth than Portland.

THE FRONTCOURTS: The Warriors, with Kevin Durant and Green, have the advantage here. It’s decisive if Nurkic, a disappointment this season, sits. Starting forwards Mo Harkless and Al-Farouq Aminu are mediocre at best. Look no further than these three to see why Portland is dead last in both assists and fast-break points.

Gameday: Conditions exist for Warriors to score 150 points vs Suns

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USATSI

Gameday: Conditions exist for Warriors to score 150 points vs Suns

OAKLAND -- The Warriors will be without Draymond Green when they conclude their pre-All-Star break home schedule Monday night against the struggling Phoenix Suns at Oracle Arena.

In a 122-105 win over San Antonio on Saturday, the Warriors (43-13) showed signs of emerging from a stretch of desultory performances. With two games remaining before the break, the goal is to take a four-game victory into the break.

The Suns (18-39) have lost five in a row and 10 of their last 11. They are on pace to post four straight losing seasons for the first time in 30 years. They’ve missed the playoffs in each of the last seven seasons, the longest such streak in the history of the 49-year-old franchise.

BETTING LINE

Warriors by 15.5

MATCHUP TO WATCH

Andre Iguodala & Co. vs. T.J. Warren: Though he toils in the shadow of guard Devin Booker, Warren is himself a threat. He’s averaging 19.7 points per game and shooting 50.5 percent from the field. With Green out, Iguodala is the likely replacement in the starting lineup. Even if coach Steve Kerr decides otherwise, the Warriors will give Warren different defensive looks.

INJURY REPORT

Warriors: G Pat McCaw (L thumb sprain) is listed as questionable. F Draymond Green (L index finger sprain) and F/C Jordan Bell (L ankle inflammation) are listed as out.

Suns: C Tyson Chandler (neck spasms) is listed as probable. G Tyler Ulis (low back discomfort) is listed as questionable. G Devin Booker (L hip pointer), G Brandon Knight (L ACL surgery) and F Alan Williams (R meniscus repair) are listed as out.

LAST 10

Warriors: 6-4. Suns: 1-9.

GAME OFFICIALS

David Guthrie (crew chief), Mark Ayotte, CJ Washington

SERIES HISTORY

This is the first of four meetings this season between the teams. The Warriors won all four meetings last season, by an average of 14.2 points. They are 11-1 against Phoenix since Steve Kerr took over as coach in 2014-15.

THREE THINGS TO WATCH

KLAY CLOSES IN ON JBC: Klay Thompson has 9,962 points and needs 5 more to pass Joe Barry Carroll and move into 10th place on the franchise’s all-time scoring list. Thompson is 38 points away from 10,000 career points.

THE SPRINTS: The Warriors play at the second-fastest pace in the NBA, just ahead of the No. 3 Suns. The uptempo pace factors into the fact that both teams average more than 15 turnovers per game. The Warriors, however, are vastly more explosive.

THE 150 POSSIBILITY: Several members of the Warriors believe they can, under the right conditions, score 150 points. Such conditions exist on Monday. The All-Star beckons, the Suns are the worst defensive team in the league, the pace allows for a high amount of possessions and the Warriors’ scorers are healthy.

Klay takes off for rare poster dunk, lifts Warriors in process

Klay takes off for rare poster dunk, lifts Warriors in process

OAKLAND -- Klay Thompson has been among the NBA’s most accurate long-distance gunners and he’s at it again this season, consistently ranking among the leaders in 3-point shooting.

The 6-foot-7 guard also has a reputation a dogged defender, too, and when fully engaged he is able to contain some of the league’s best guards.

Thompson is not known for his dunks, though, but he jammed one Saturday night in a 122-105 win over San Antonio that will live in Warriors lore for years to come.

“It felt very good,” deadpanned Thompson.

Running along the right sideline, Thompson took an outlet pass from Stephen Curry, dribbled once and took flight, posterizing Spurs big man Davis Bertans in the process and giving the Warriors a 68-62 lead with 8:20 left in the third quarter.

“He took off from pretty far out,” coach Steve Kerr said with a sheepish grin. “I wasn’t sure he was going to get there.”

If the reaction from the Warriors on the bench is any indication, Kerr was not the only person uncertain of Thompson’s ability to take off from about eight out and have enough to shove it down.

Shaun Livingston, Pat McCaw, Kevon Looney, Nick Young and, of course, JaVale McGee leapt off the bench and went into hysterics.

“It excited our guys; they love when Klay dunks,” Kerr said.

“Klay tries to lay the ball up so much, so you never expect him to go try to dunk it like that,” Draymond Green said. “I think that’s why he got that reaction. It was a pretty good dunk.”

The dunk was part of an 18-8 run that put the Spurs away.

“It was nice to see him have that aggressiveness in transition,” Stephen Curry said. “And then from there, he opened the game up making shots and got the building going crazy. The bench went nuts, and that’s always fun to see.”

The slam allowed Thompson, who scored a game-high 25 points, to trim the deficit in his personal dunk duel with center Zaza Pachulia, who has a 10-7 lead.

“We motivate each other to get to the rim and finish strong,” Thompson said. “I think he’s up one on me. But there’s a lot of basketball left. And I see myself beating him by at least four of five dunks. I’m not too worried.”