PORTLAND -- The battered Warriors did what they've been accustomed to for much of the season: Playing just well enough to lose.
In the latest example -- a 122-112 loss to the Trail Blazers (12-16) on Wednesday night -- the Warriors (5-24) cut Portland's lead to four in the final four minutes. However, the Blazers' backcourt of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 61 points as the Warriors were outrebounded 57-50, giving up 23 boards to Hassan Whiteside.
The Warriors were aided by the 3-ball, making a season-high 16 3-pointers, keeping them in the game for much of the night. But it wasn't enough to prevent them from suffering their fifth consecutive loss.
Here are the takeaways from Moda Center:
D'Angelo Russell shines in the first, fades in the second
With Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson out of the lineup, Russell has been expected to carry most of the offensive responsibility for Golden State. After a brief glimpse of his ability, he faded by the end of the night.
Through the first 24 minutes, Russell was spectacular, scoring 18 points and making 6 of his 12 shot attempts, helping the Warriors cut the Blazers' lead to one by halftime. Along the way, Russell showed his diverse skillset, from his floater to a transition 3-pointer.
By the end of the night, his jumper failed him, as he made just two of his last six shots, even as the Warriors stayed in the game.
There's no doubt that Russell is a big-time scorer, as evidenced by his 52-point outburst last month. But with much of their offensive firepower out of the lineup because of injury, the Warriors need his scoring to be consistent.
Quality minutes from the bigs
The Warriors' frontcourt has been rightfully maligned for much of the season. However, Wednesday's performance gave some hope for the unit. Willie Cauley-Stein finished with 12 points and seven rebounds in 23 minutes. Additionally, Marquese Chriss scored 10 points and added 10 rebounds.
The two players have been battling for the starting center role in recent weeks. A solid showing from Chriss in Utah was followed by a decent showing from Cauley-Stein two nights later against Sacramento.
Both players have much to prove as they continue their careers in Golden State. A healthy competition only will help with that evolution.
GR3 shines again
Glenn Robinson III continued his career-revitalizing season, finishing with 17 points, including five 3-pointers. He got going early, making three 3-pointers in the first quarter, to help the Warriors to one of their best offensive first halves of the season.
Robinson III continues to be a gem for the Warriors, providing 3-point shooting along with quality defense while starting every game this season. He has a player option for the 2020-21 season and will force Golden State to make a financial decision this summer.