Klay Thompson didn’t hit many of his shots Sunday, but he hit the most important one, helping the Golden State Warriors beat the Trail Blazers at the Moda Center.
Thompson missed 15 of his first 20 shots, but hit a back-breaking three-pointer with 37.5 seconds left to push the Warriors to a 113-111 win over the upstart Blazers.
Thompson finished 6-for-21 with 27 points and Kevin Durant had 33 points as Golden State improved to an NBA-best 41-7 after sweeping the four-game series against the Blazers 921-28).
Portland had a chance to win the game, but Evan Turner missed a three pointer in the final second after Portland was awarded the ball after offensive foul by Kevin Durant with 5.5 seconds left. Durant ran over Turner while trying to get open on an inbounds play.
Stephen Curry, who scored 43 points the night before against the Clippers, did not play for Golden State after experiencing the flu-like symptoms.
Portland, which was trying to win four in a row for the first time this season, played valiantly but couldn’t get enough stops late on Durant, who also added 10 rebounds and six assists.
CJ McCollum led the Blazers with 28 points while Mason Plumlee recorded his team-leading 13th double-double with 15 points and 11 rebounds. Damian Lillard added 19 points and eight assists for the Blazers and Evan Turner had 18 points and six assists.
Portland forged three ties in the second half but could never take the lead. The last tie was at 93 with 6:32 left, but Andre Iguodala hit a three-pointer and the Warriors never looked back.
Portland never gave up after Thompson’s dagger three-pointer, making Golden State be nearly perfect from the free throw line. McCollum made a three-pointer with 17.8 seconds left, pulling the Blazers within 109-107. But Thompson made two free throws with 16.7 seconds left and with 10.0, putting the finishing touches on an 13-for-15 night at the line.
The game was tied as late as 68-68 with 5:12 left in the third quarter before Golden State closed strong behind consecutive three-pointers from Andre Iguodala to head into the fourth quarter leading 84-74.
The Blazers fought to within 53-50 at halftime after closing the half on a 20-2 run that was fueled by better defense and some hurried and undisciplined shot selection by the Warriors.
Lillard put the exclamation point on the run, hitting back-to-back three pointers then feeding Evan Turner for a layin.
Next up: Charlotte at Blazers, 7 p.m. Tuesday (CSN)