As expected it was a high-scoring shootout between the Trail Blazers and Warriors on Wednesday night.
With the Warriors playing in the second leg of a back-to-back, the Blazers looked to take advantage of some tired Warriors legs, but the Blazers were also fighting some fatigue themselves playing in their third game in four nights. But tired legs didn’t stop these two teams from getting major buckets. At the end of three quarters, Golden State was up 95-94. At the end of the third!
The Blazers came out on top, beating the Warriors 129-107 behind Damian Lillard’s 29 points.
Final Box Score: Blazers 129, Warriors 107
Here are some quick thoughts from the Blazers home victory:
1. Momentum swings
It wasn’t until midway through the second quarter when Maurice Harkless broke away for a fastbreak dunk that it was apparent that the Blazers might be a bit more fresh than the Warriors. Harkless beat all five Warriors down the floor the transition jam.
That breakaway dunk led to the Warriors calling a timeout and that was a nice momentum swing for Portland. With the Harkless slam, Portland took a three-point lead with 4:11 to go in the first half. Of course, a momentum swing against the talented Warriors team is never a big shift. Yet, it seemed to be a key moment in the game in helping to prove to the Blazers that they can stick around with the high-scoring Warriors even after dealing with such a brutal schedule.
That dunk also brought life to the Moda Center crowd, which was huge since about a third of the arena was wearing Golden State apparel.
Getting Harkless involved in the offense has been a rarity, same with the Blazers other starting forward Al-Farouq Aminu. The two combined for 12 points in the first half, which is always a good sign for the Blazers’ offense.
In the 4th quarter, it was an even bigger swing for Portland with Draymond Green getting a flagrant 1, which then got Warriors coach Steve Kerr fired up and eventually ejected from the game. Portland took advantage and finished out the game strong. The emotions got the best of the Warriors in this one.
2. Blazers bench brining it
It’s no secret that Portland’s second unit has been up and down this season, but against the Warriors, the Blazers’ bench took advantage of the Warriors’ second unit.
Evan Turner looked for his shot more than he has been lately, especially when he had a smaller defender on him. His post game moves were very effective and Zach Collins was effective on the defensive end. Collins finished the game with three blocks and got under Klay Thompson's skin as well.
ET also found Seth Curry and Jake Layman. Turner was key to getting the bench going early and keeping the scoring coming in the second half. This obviously will be important down the stretch of the season – Portland will need the bench to get back to playing together like it had at the start of the season and consistently score.
3. Could this win be the start of something wonderful?
It was just last year when the Blazers beat the Warriors 123-114 on February 14th, which was the last game before the All-Star break. In the win, Lillard had 44 points.
Do you remember why that game was so significant?
That was the first win of the Trail Blazers record setting 13-game winning streak last season.
Is it a coincidence that Portland beat the Warriors this season on February 13th, the last day before the break? Could this be the start off another winning streak?
We shall see.
The next 12 games are little more difficult this season, though with 10 of the 12 games on the road.
NEXT UP: The Blazers will hit the road for a seven-game trip after the 2019 NBA All-Star break. Portland is back at on Thursday, February 21st. Tip-off is set for 4:30pm with pregame coverage beginning at 3:30pm on NBC Sports Northwest.
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