Warriors

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 116-94 Game 1 win over Blazers

Warriors takeaways: What we learned in 116-94 Game 1 win over Blazers

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OAKLAND – Riding terrific 3-point shooting and solid perimeter defense, the Warriors carved out a 116-94 victory over the Trail Blazers Tuesday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.

With Stephen Curry pouring in nine triples to lead the way, the Warriors shot 51.5 percent (17-of-33) beyond the arc – better than their 49-percent shooting on 2-point attempts.

Meanwhile, they limited Portland to 25 percent (7-of-28) from deep and 36.1 percent overall.

Here are three takeaways from Game 1:

The Backcourts, Pt. I

The battle of the backcourts is the most compelling aspect of this series, and it was not close in Game 1. The Warriors were decisive winners – thanks mostly to the brilliance of Curry.

Curry scored a game-high 36 points on 12-of-23 shooting from the field, including 9-of-15 from beyond the arc. He played 36 minutes and was plus-10.

So magnificent was Curry that it didn’t matter that Klay Thompson, again eager to launch, didn’t find a rhythm until late. Shooting 6-of-19 through three quarters, he finished with 26 points on 10-of-24 shooting, including 3-of-9 from deep.

Damian Lillard, the Oakland native and Portland’s scoring leader, tallied 19 points, taking only 12 shots and making four. His skilled sidekick, CJ McCollum, coming off a 37-point outburst, put in 17 points on 7-of-19 shooting from the field,

Though the Warriors crowded Lillard at every opportunity, expect him to be more aggressive as this series moves forward.

It took a while for both teams to pick up the pace

For a game of such significance, there was not a lot of fizz to the proceedings in the early going. The Warriors looked only partially engaged. The Blazers looked, well, tired.

Perhaps that’s to be expected. Both teams were coming off an emotional series in the previous round, the Warriors against enemy Houston four days earlier and Portland was only two days removed from a Game 7 victory over the Nuggets in Denver.

The Blazers committed 13 turnovers in the first half and 21 for the game. The vast majority were of the live-ball variety, allowing the Warriors turned those giveaways into 31 points.

The energy level, much to the delight of the3 sellout crowd at Oracle Arena, picked up after halftime. Maybe it will be there from the opening tip when the teams meet Thursday at Oracle for Game 2.

A matter of fouls

The Warriors went to sleep Tuesday night to the sound of whistles. Might even wake up Wednesday morning to that same sound.

The officiating crew – Marc Davis, Tony Brothers and Tony Brown – stung the Warriors for 24 fouls. Every starter except Andre Iguodala had at least three, with Draymond Green tagged five times.

The Blazers were whistled for 16 fouls.

The result was a disparity in free throws, with Portland going 27-of-31 from the line and the Warriors finishing 14-of-17.

Warriors GM Bob Myers discusses high school Hall of Fame induction

Warriors GM Bob Myers discusses high school Hall of Fame induction

Believe it or not, Warriors general manager Bob Myers was once the worst player on his basketball team. That was at UCLA, but in his defense, he was one of the stand-outs in high school.

He was a star for the Monte Vista Mustangs and was recently part of the first Athletic Hall of Fame class.

Before the dinner honoring the group of inductees, he told his kids that he was being honored for being a good player, and they poked fun at him as they were confused about him being referred to as a talented athlete.

"But I'm in man, I got in -- they can't take it away," Myers told NBC Sports Bay Area's Bob Fitzgerald and Kelenna Azubuike during Friday's Warriors-Lakers telecast. 

His former school honored him with a plaque that he's sporting on his dashboard. He also got a license plate frame.

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Fitzgerald said he will be calling Myers "Hall of Famer" for the rest of the year.

Suppose that means it was worth it.

Warriors GM Bob Myers breaks down what Marquese Chriss brings to team

Warriors GM Bob Myers breaks down what Marquese Chriss brings to team

Marquese Chriss hasn't wasted any time adjusting to the Warriors after being acquired in October.

"He's done a nice job, he's played in the five -- I don't think he's played a ton of five, screen-setting, just the littlest things," general manager Bob Myers told NBC Sports Bay Area's Bob Fitzgerald and Kelenna Azubuike during Friday's Warriors-Lakers telecast. "Changing his angle on the screens, he's learned to play off these guys."

"Sometimes you need a bit of a wakeup call to just start doing the little things."

The little things the big man has been working on stretch beyond his playing ability. Young Chriss, at just 22 years old, has already been on four teams in three years if you include the Dubs.

When he was brought in, he was viewed as someone to not only make an impact now but down the line.

The team hadn't had a high draft pick in several years and to get someone of his age and caliber is the perfect addition to the roster as Kerr explained after acquiring Chriss

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Chriss looks forward to making a comeback after being plagued with a history of injuries. And the Warriors appear to be happy with the gamble they took. But time will tell.