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What we learned in Warriors' narrow loss to Trail Blazers

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A high-profile game with relatively low-rate basketball Wednesday night in Portland ended badly for the Warriors.

With both teams scrounging for offense, only the Trail Blazers scored inside the final minute, sending the Warriors to a 108-106 loss.

Steph Curry scored a game-high 35 points, but no other Warrior scored more than 14.

It was a rather low-scoring game, as the Warriors came in averaging 114 points per game, the Blazers 114.4.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors (19-17) moving a full two games behind the Blazers (20-14) in the Western Conference standings and, moreover, Portland winning the season series.

Steph tops Dame ... until Dame Time

Curry on Tuesday pointed out that both he and Damian Lillard how important their production is to their respective team’s chances of winning.

He was right and wrong.

Both players receives plenty of defensive attention, but Curry was more assertive in looking to score. He started fast, outscoring Lillard 16-7 in the first quarter, and finished with 35 point on 13-of-28 shooting from the field, including 5 of 14 from deep.

Lillard scored 22 points, shooting 6 of 17 from the field and 3 of 10 from distance -- but he drained a clutch 3-pointer to give the Blazers the lead with 14 seconds remaining.

Then, on the Warriors' ensuing possession, Lillard took a charge on Draymond Green's drive to the basket. Golden State protested the call, but it held up on review, all but sealing Portland's win.

Having lost several family members and friends over the last 10 months, including two this year, Lillard is playing through considerable personal tribulation. The emotional burden could be taking a toll, along with frequent double teams.

 

It didn’t matter when it counted most.

The KO subs

After spraining his left wrist in practice Tuesday, Kelly Oubre Jr. was ruled out shortly before tipoff and replaced in the starting lineup by Kent Bazemore.

Bazemore played generally solid defense, but he also had some hurtful moments, notably a 65-second stretch in the third quarter during which he picked up two fouls and committed a turnover.

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Oubre is Golden State’s primary point-of-attack defender and would have drawn the Lillard assignment. He also averaged 20.1 points per game last month and leads the team in dunks with 63.

Bazemore finished with 12 points and Damion Lee added 10, but Oubre’s absence definitely was felt.

Mr. Wiggins, where art thou?

The Warriors continue to seek the offense they once got from Andrew Wiggins, and he continues to search for it.

He scored in double figures in each of the first 34 games this season but managed only three points Sunday against the Los Angeles Lakers and came up with 14 against the Blazers, shooting 6 of 15 from the field, including 2 of 5 from distance.

Wiggins’ decline is not sudden. His scoring has tailed off in recent weeks, mostly because his 3-point shot has deserted him. After shooting 41 percent from deep in December and January, he shot 27.3 percent in February.

On a night the Warriors really needed Wiggins to be the most dangerous wing on the floor -- which, statistically, he is -- he was bested by Carmelo Anthony, the 36-year-old veteran who came off Portland’s bench to score 22 points on 8-of-13 shooting, including 2 of 6 from deep.

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