Damian Lillard

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 129-124 OT road loss to Blazers

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 129-124 OT road loss to Blazers


PORTLAND -- The Warriors and Blazers matchup has provided plenty of memorable moments in the last decade. 

Now, even with both teams out of the playoff picture, they provided another thriller Monday night, with the Blazers (19-26) winning 129-124 in overtime at Moda Center. 

Along the way, Oakland-native Damian Lillard scored career-high 61 points, overcoming a balanced offensive effort from Eric Paschall, Alec Burks and D'Angelo Russell. 

After Lillard hit a 3-pointer to force overtime, the Blazers outscored Golden State 16-11 in the extra session, capped by two free throws from Lillard to seal the loss. In a season defined by injury, Monday's loss provided several lessons for the young core.

Here are the takeaways from a loss that gives the Warriors a 10-35 record:

Burks shines

With Russell struggling early and the Warriors failing to make any 3-pointers in the first quarter, an offensive spark was needed. By the end of the night, Burks provided that, scoring 33 points, grabbing seven rebounds and dishing out eight assists. 

Burks started early, scoring Golden State's first nine points of the contest, becoming the lone bright spot in a quarter the Warriors shot 32.1 percent from the field. Down the stretch, he hit timely shots to combat Lillard's huge night. 

The performance was on brand for Burks, who came into Monday's game averaging 16.4 points over his last eight games. With most of Golden State's reputable scoring options on the bench, Burks will need to continue his current level of play for the team to have a chance. 

Marquese Chriss flies around

For the last week, Chriss has been adjusting to life as a two-way player, skipping most practices to preserve his active days on the roster. On Monday, he showed little sign of rust, scoring 14 points and pulling down six rebounds. 

Chriss was especially good in the second quarter, scoring six points in seven minutes, helping the Warriors take a 12-point lead. As he's shown throughout the season,  Chriss can be a difference-maker, especially as a lob threat. Under his current contract, he can prove to be a long-term difference maker. At his current pace, he's on track to do so. 

What rookie wall?

Recently, Paschall has been hearing questions about the drop from his early-season performance, prompting murmurs that he's hitting a "rookie wall." In the last week, he's momentarily quelled the noise, providing another strong display against the Blazers.

In 42 minutes, he scored 22 points and secured 13 rebounds. Paschall was especially good in the third quarter, scoring 10 points during the stretch, helping the Warriors take a five-point lead into the fourth quarter. 

The performance was indicative of Paschall's recent play. Entering Monday's game, he averaged 17.3 points and 5.7 rebounds over his last three games. If his latest output was any indication, he looks to be right back on track in his rookie season.

Kings notes: Bogdan Bogdanovic out, draft misses and familiar faces


Kings notes: Bogdan Bogdanovic out, draft misses and familiar faces

PORTLAND -- After a rough showing Monday evening against the Chicago Bulls, the Sacramento Kings are in need of a bounce-back game Wednesday. They’ll take on the Portland Trail Blazers to kick off a four-game road trip that will include stops in San Antonio, Dallas and Houston over the next week.

The Blazers aren’t the same team that ran the Kings over in the first week of the season. They also aren’t the same team that Sacramento beat 107-99 in the second week of November. 

Coach Terry Stotts’ team continues to evolve after a surprisingly bad start to the season. They have added a marquee name in Carmelo Anthony and new faces are earning time in the rotation.

The Kings under head coach Luke Walton are making strides as well. After an 0-5 start to the season, they’ve posted an 8-6 record and they’ve climbed back into the chase for the postseason.

Here are five things to look for as the two teams prepare to face off Wednesday at the Moda Center.

Bogi is banged up

Walton’s crew is already banged up with the absence of De’Aaron Fox and Marvin Bagley. Bogdan Bogdanovic is struggling with tightness in his left hamstring and has been ruled out for the game against Portland. The injury cost him a game last week and slowed him down considerably against the Bulls.

The third-year guard is averaging 14.8 points, 4.7 assists and 1.4 steals per game as the leader of the Kings’ second unit. If he can’t play against Portland, expect Yogi Ferrell and Justin James to take on a bigger role for Sacramento.

That Carmelo guy

After being left out of the league for almost a year, Anthony is back, signing a one-year league minimum deal that becomes fully guaranteed if he’s still on the roster on Jan. 7. Anthony instantly stepped into a starting role with the Blazers and is averaging 16.4 points and six rebounds in 30.3 minutes per game.

A 10-time All-Star, the 35-year-old Anthony is providing a third scorer behind Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum. He’s looked better than expected, even winning a Western Conference Player of the Week award.

Old faces, new places

Portland has a group of former Kings bigs on their roster this season. Skal Labissiere is playing rotational minutes as a backup five, Anthony Tolliver is seeing time as a stretch four and Hassan Whiteside is anchoring the starting center position. Labissiere played together in Sacramento during the 2016-17 season. Whiteside was drafted by the Kings in 2010 and spent his first two seasons in the league in Sacramento.

In addition to Labissiere, Tolliver and Whiteside, Zach Collins and Gary Trent were both drafted by Sacramento and traded to Portland on draft night. Caleb Swanigan played for the Blazers for his first season and a half in the league and was acquired by the Kings in the trade that sent Labissiere to Portland. Harry Giles was drafted by Portland and traded to Sacramento on draft night with Justin Jackson for Collins.

What could have been

McCollum has found a home in Portland, spending his first seven seasons in the NBA playing alongside Lillard. The two form one of the most dynamic scoring backcourts in the league, but it almost didn’t work out this way.

The Kings brought McCollum in for three separate workouts during the phase leading up to the 2013 NBA Draft. McCollum has said multiple times that he believed that the Kings would select him with the seventh overall pick. At the last minute, Sacramento went a different direction, taking Ben McLemore instead and the rest is history. McCollum went to Portland with the 10th overall selection and has averaged over 20 points per game in each of the last five seasons.

During the 2012 draft, Lillard was on the board when the Kings selected at No. 5 overall. Like McCollum, there were strong indications the Kings would choose him on draft night, but Thomas Robinson fell out of the top four and the Kings changed their path. Lillard went with the sixth overall pick and has gone on to make four All-Star teams and has a career scoring average of 23.6 points per game.

[RELATED: Kyle Guy scores career-high 42 points in G-League]

The Ultimate Equalizer

The Kings flew up to Portland on Tuesday afternoon and were settled into their hotel rooms with plenty of time to turn on the TV and watch the Blazers playing the Clippers in Los Angeles at the Staples Center. There is no word on what time the Trail Blazers made it back home after losing to the Clippers, but the Kings are the more rested team.

Derek Carr comforts Damian Lillard with promise of Raiders playoff run

Derek Carr comforts Damian Lillard with promise of Raiders playoff run

Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard made the wrong kind of history Friday night, but Raiders quarterback Derek Carr was there for him with an intriguing proposition. 

Lillard, an Oakland native and a massive Raiders fan, wasn't happy Portland lost in his 60-point effort. When Carr gave the point guard props for his performance on Twitter, Lillard quickly shifted the conversation to the surprising Silver and Black. 

The Raiders are 5-4, thanks to Thursday night's win over the Los Angeles Chargers in the rivals' final meeting at the Coliseum. Oakland could end Week 10 in possession of the AFC's final wild-card spot, assuming the lowly Miami Dolphins can spring an upset over the Indianapolis Colts and backup QB Brian Hoyer. 

Carr has never played in the NFL playoffs, as he was injured in the penultimate regular-season game of the 2016 season when the Raiders last qualified for the postseason. That marked Oakland's first playoff appearance since losing to current Raiders coach Jon Gruden and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in Super Bowl XXXVII. If the pair return to the postseason this winter, they might want to take a page out of Lillard's book. 

[RELATED: Ferrell arrives with statement game in Raiders' TNF win]

Lillard famously dropped a 37-foot buzzer-beater on the Oklahoma City Thunder in the NBA playoffs this spring, waving good-bye to the Thunder after sealing the sweep. Though Lillard has not made it past the Western Conference finals, the 29-year-old averages more points per game (24.8) in the playoffs than he does in the regular season.

The Raiders have to get there first, though, and Lillard will be watching every step of the way. 

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