Shorthanded Warriors bench bullied by Blazers


Shorthanded Warriors bench bullied by Blazers

As much as the Warriors missed Stephen Curry in Portland, they missed his fellow ailing teammates even more.

With Curry and four other rotation players out of the lineup, the fabled depth so often cited by coach Steve Kerr has been reduced to scraps and splinters and it was woefully inadequate Friday night in a 125-107 loss to the Trail Blazers.

Though Curry surely would have helped with their late-quarter scoring, the Warriors lost this game mostly on defense and rebounding, particularly against Portland’s second unit.

With reserves Andre Iguodala, David West, Jordan Bell and Pat McCaw joining Curry on the sideline, the Warriors lost the bench scoring battle 47-18 and the bench rebounding battle 21-10.

“They outrebounded us and we can’t have that when we’re missing Steph and all the other guys we didn’t have,” Klay Thompson told reporters in Portland.

Any one of the four missing reserves might have helped. All of them most certainly would have helped -- even if Warriors coach Steve Kerr waved off the production discrepancy between the two benches.

“I don’t look at that at all,” he said. “You could look at box score and say this happened or that happened. But their bench scored and our bench didn’t. That happens sometimes. Sometimes it’s in reverse. We’ve got four guys sitting out, so...”

Though Nick Young was fairly atrocious, at both ends, actually, it wasn’t so much the scoring of the reserves that made such a difference. It was the multiple opportunities to score that proved so profoundly decisive for Portland, which scored 26 second-chance points to 8 for the Warriors.

Blazers big man Ed Davis played 26 minutes off the bench, scoring 10 points and grabbing 15 rebounds, including seven on the offensive glass.

The Warriors, as a team, had six offensive rebounds.

“It was huge, especially in the first half,” Draymond Green said. “We didn’t rebound well at all. We rebounded better in the second half until late. When you give a team like that second and third shots, they’ve got great shooters. They’ll make them eventually. You want to give them one shot and out. We didn’t do that.”

West wasn’t there to match up with the physical presence of Davis. Bell wasn’t there to provide energy, particularly on defense. Iguodala wasn’t there to be his usual disruptive self on defense or loosen an offense that sometimes stagnated.

The Warriors managed only 20 assists, more than 10 below their average of 30.5 per game.

“We are missing ‘Dre and D-West, guys we throw the ball to a lot to initiate our offense,” Durant said.

“We could have done a lot of things better. Obviously, we had some good looks. We didn’t rebound . . . we didn’t finish the quarters well. It was just all that happens in a basketball game, all that happens in a season with the ups and downs.”

A lot went wrong for the Warriors, and still they were up six with less than nine minutes to play. After taking an 83-77 lead with 2:17 left in the third quarter, they were outscored 48-25.

The legs they might have had to keep the Blazers off the offensive glass never were there, and what little the Warriors had left in the fourth quarter was not enough.

Having Curry would have been nice, to be sure, but this is a game the Warriors likely would have won without him, if they had Iguodala, West and Bell.

Though Curry won’t be back until next week at the soonest, one or both of the veterans could be available Sunday in Minnesota, where the Warriors face the Timberwolves.

Any and all reinforcements are welcome, and almost certain to make a difference.

Long winning streaks on the line as Warriors visit Blazers

Long winning streaks on the line as Warriors visit Blazers

Being battered and bruised won’t keep the Warriors from seeking a measure of revenge as well as their eighth consecutive victory Friday night when they face the Trail Blazers in Portland.

Coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 6 o’clock, with tipoff scheduled for 7:05.

The Warriors (51-14) will enter Moda Center without Stephen Curry, Jordan Bell and Pat McCaw. It’s possible they’ll also be without Andre Iguodala or David West.

The Blazers (39-26) also are on a roll, having won eight in a row -- a streak that began with a 123-117 win over the Warriors on Valentine’s Day in Portland.


Warriors by 4


Klay Thompson vs. Damian Lillard: Thompson has spent many games chasing Lillard, who is one of the hottest players in the league, averaging 33.1 ppg during Portland’s win streak and 35.4 ppg over the last 10 games. Thompson is coming off a poor shooting night (13 points, 5-of-16 shooting) and usually recovers well. The Warriors would be thrilled if he puts up numbers similar to Lillard, no matter what those numbers are.


Warriors: F Andre Iguodala (L wrist sprain), F/C David West (R arm cyst), F/C Jordan Bell (L ankle sprain), G Stephen Curry (R ankle tweak) and G Pat McCaw (L wrist fracture) are listed as out.

Blazers: F Maurice Harkless (L knee soreness) is listed as probable.


Warriors: 9-1.

Blazers: 9-1.


Jason Phillips (crew chief), Josh Tiven, Scott Twardoski


The teams split the first two of three games this season, with the Warriors posting a 111-104 win on Dec. 11 in Oakland and the Blazers claiming a 123-117 victory on Feb. 14 in Portland. The Warriors have won seven of the last eight meetings and are 11-2 against the Blazers in the Steve Kerr era.


THE STEPH VACUUM: Without Curry, whose presence generates dynamic movement all over the court, the Warriors are a less magical offensive team. They’re a different team, particularly on offense. There will be more pick-and-roll action and they’ll have to utilize more ball movement.

BRING THE D: When Curry missed 11 games in December, the Warriors responded by winning seven straight and going 9-2 overall. They posted an NBA-best 98.7 defensive rating during that stretch (while the offense, at 105.9, slid to 17th. They’ll need to bring defensive intensity from the opening tip.

KD TIME: In his last game the Blazers, Kevin Durant lit them up for 50. Portland had no defensive answer then and still doesn’t. If Durant gets going early, he could generate enough offense to keep the Warriors with a Portland team averaging 110 ppg during its win streak.

Report: Trail Blazers sign former Kings lottery pick


Report: Trail Blazers sign former Kings lottery pick

SACRAMENTO -- We have a Georgios Papagiannis sighting. After being released by the Sacramento Kings on February 8, the 20-year-old center cleared waivers and hasn’t been heard from since. That all changed Tuesday afternoon.

According to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, Papagiannis will sign a 10-day deal with the Portland Trail Blazers.

The 7-footer out of Greece was selected by the Kings with the 13th overall selection in the 2016 NBA Draft. He played just 38 games in a year and a half with Sacramento before being let go to make room for Joe Johnson and Iman Shumpert, who were acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers for veteran point guard George Hill.

Papagiannis averaged 4.2 points and 3.2 rebounds in 12.4 minutes per game for the Kings.