Stephen Curry

What's a 'Spurs year?' Well, Golden State may be having one right now

What's a 'Spurs year?' Well, Golden State may be having one right now

SAN FRANCISCO -- Trail Blazer fans are moaning about injuries and the fact that the team has big men Paul Gasol, Zach Collins, Jusuf Nurkic and (last Saturday) Hassan Whiteside out at the same time.

But folks, that's nothing compared to what the Golden State Warriors are going through right now.

Golden State reached the NBA Finals last season and out of the 15 players on its roster, guess how many are going to play against the Trail Blazers tonight?

Zero. Zip. Nada. None. Nobody.

Sure, nobody's feeling sorry for a franchise that was a fixture at the Finals for five years. But, for the record, tonight the Warriors will be without D'Angelo Russell (right ankle sprain), Steph Curry (left hand fracture), Jacob Evans (left abductor strain), Draymond Green (left index finger sprain), Kevon Looney (neuropathy), Alen Smailagic (right ankle sprain) and Klay Thompson (left ACL rehab).

And just one more thing about that. This is beginning to look like what the league calls a "Spurs year" for Golden State. In other words, a very good team crippled by injuries, drops down into the lottery, plucks a great player and then bounces right back into contention the following season -- the way San Antonio did when it picked Tim Duncan.

How to watch, stream Trail Blazers at Warriors tonight at 7:30pm

How to watch, stream Trail Blazers at Warriors tonight at 7:30pm

The Trail Blazers (3-3) are back on the road. Portland visits the injury-riddled Golden State Warriors (1-5) on Monday night with tip-off slated for 7:30pm PT. The Blazers have been dealing with their own injuries.

Shortly before Saturday’s game started the team announced big man Zach Collins is set to have surgery on his dislocated left shoulder, and while there isn’t a firm timeline on how long he will be, it’s likely his recovered will be measured in months not weeks.

Now the Blazers are trying to figure out how to come together as a team without Collins.

The good news for Monday’s contest, the Blazers have listed Rodney Hood (left quad contusion) and Hassan Whiteside (left knee bone bruise) as probable.

As for Golden State, the Warriors have listed D’Angelo Russell (right ankle) as questionable, while Steph Curry (left hand fracture), Jacob Evans (left adductor), Draymond Green (left index finger), Kevon Looney (neuropathy), Alen Smailagic (right ankle) & Klay Thompson (left ACL rehab) are out for Monday’s game.

You can watch the Blazers-Warriors game on NBC Sports Northwest, the Official Network of the Portland Trail Blazers and you can stream the game on our website or by downloading the MyTeams app!

And, have you heard about Blazers Pass? Tonight's Warriors game is the first game of the "Blazers Pass Season!"

You can get 15 live Trail Blazers games, pre and postgame shows, and on-demand full-game replays with Blazers Pass! (Only available to fans located in Blazers Territory, pursuant to NBA rules and agreements. No TV provider required. Subscription Period: November 4, 2019 - April 16, 2020. Subscription auto-renews prior to start of next season.)

Don't miss any of the coverage of tonight's game:

3:30pm Blazers Game Day with Chad Doing

6:30pm Blazers Warm-Up

7:00pm Trail Blazers Pregame Show

7:30pm Trail Blazers vs. Warriors

After the game catch Blazers Outsiders with hosts Joe Simons and Dan Marang!

Plus, full coverage of the game from Dwight JaynesJamie Hudson and our digital team. Follow us on social throughout the night for the latest updates. 

Quote of the Day

“We just feel really confident that no matter who’s set in front of us, even without a lot of our bigs right now, we feel like we can go compete and win games.” – Antony Tolliver on how the Blazers are dealing with so many injured teammates

Western Conference Shakeup: Steph Curry has a broken hand

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USATI

Western Conference Shakeup: Steph Curry has a broken hand

The Western Conference is already a road filled with potholes to the playoffs. One wrong turn, one wrong stretch and you could be on the outside looking in.

The Golden State Warriors are a different team now. Gone is KD, and Steph Curry is now THE Man for the Warriors. But things just got interesting. According to Warriors PR, Steph Curry has a broken left hand:

Our sister station, NBC Sports Bay Area, wrote the following about the moments that led to the injury:

Steph Curry left Wednesday's game against the Suns in the second half with an apparent wrist injury. Phoenix big man Aron Baynes fell on top of Curry's left wrist after a collision under the Suns' basket, and the two-time MVP appeared to be in immediate pain.

So, the real question is: What does this mean for Portland? How does it change the outlook for the Trail Blazers in the Western Conference? 

With many projections having the Trail Blazers on the bubble or even outside the playoffs, any negative hit to any other Western Conference team with playoff aspirations helps the Trail Blazers' chances. Every game counts in the final standings as we have seen in recent years with wild swings in playoff seeding (or elimination) on the final day of the season. 

While NBA fans might (and should) feel bad for the injured star who has altered the course of the NBA, the Western Conference has been shaken up again and gotten ever so slightly easier for Portland. 

Also of note: Portland travels to play Golden State on Monday for a 7:30pm tip-off in San Francisco. 

No timetable has been released on how long Curry might be out due to the injury. 

The legend of Seth vs Steph in the Western Conference Finals

The legend of Seth vs Steph in the Western Conference Finals

The Portland Trail Blazers needed every advantage they could get in their Western Conference series against the Golden State Warriors, and in Games 2 and 3 it looked early on like one of the answers might just be Seth Curry and his lifetime of experience playing older brother Stephen Curry. 

No doubt Blazers fans will remember Game 2 fondly, and the legend of Curry vs. Curry has already started to grow. But just how much did little brother actually bother big brother?

The initial results aren't great. Stephen Curry scored a combined 73 points in Games 2 and 3, and his assist totals, field-goal shooting, and plus/minus was stellar. 

But the younger Curry did get his digs at big bro, and all of Seth's steals in Game 3 came against Steph. 

So what should we really think about the family rivalry that budded in the Western Conference Finals in 2019? How much did Seth throw his MVP sibling off his game?

Watch the video above to see the full breakdown and the verdict.

 

Seth Curry reflects on losing to Steph, shares funny Game 4 moment

Seth Curry reflects on losing to Steph, shares funny Game 4 moment

Steph Curry is headed to his fifth straight NBA Finals.

Seth Curry is headed home for the summer.

The Warriors finished off their sweep of the Blazers in the Western Conference finals on Monday night, and await the winner of the Bucks-Raptors Eastern Conference finals.

Moments after overtime ended in Game 4, the Curry brothers shared a hug and exchanged jerseys before going their separate ways.

"Get it framed or something," Seth said when asked what he will do with Steph's jersey. "Definitely a special way to commemorate this series and this time. Like I said, I don't know if we'll ever be able to match up at this stage of the playoffs ever again, so it was a special time for both of us and something we'll always remember."

While there was quite a bit of chatter between the brothers on the court during the series, they likely won't talk for a while as Seth gets over the sting of his season ending. But once the NBA Finals are over, you can bet the two will get together and reflect on the experience of playing each other.

"I'm sure we'll talk about it," Seth told reporters in Portland after the game. "But just being able to match up against him and the Warriors, it's what you want as a competitor, and having it be against my brother makes it even more special for my family and something we'll remember for a long time. We don't know if this will ever happen again, so we just try to soak it in and compete at the same time."

In a high-pressure situation, the brothers were able to share a laugh. Steph went to the free throw line with 9:25 remaining in the fourth quarter, a situation he had been automatic in. Curry entered Game 4 having made 81 consecutive free throws in the fourth quarter or overtime of a playoff game.

Then he missed the first free throw and immediately turned to point at Seth. But it wasn't the younger brother who had something to say this time.

"Nah, actually he said something to me," Seth said. "He laughed [and said] 'Well, there you go.' He remember from a few games ago when I said he made however many in a row in the fourth quarter. Nah, it was just a funny time."

[RELATED: 2019 NBA Finals Schedule]

Seth is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, so he may not be back with Portland. Maybe he'll end up on an Eastern Conference team and the Curry brothers can meet in an NBA Finals.

For now, the brothers can cherish this moment, even if it ended bitterly for the younger one.

Seth Curry reveals how he tried to trash talk Steph in Warriors' Game 2 win

Seth Curry reveals how he tried to trash talk Steph in Warriors' Game 2 win

Seth Curry tried to turn back the clock and play the role of pesky little brother on Thursday night. He did it well, too, stealing the ball from older brother Steph four times and scoring 16 points off the bench in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals. 

Before the Warriors eventually escaped Seth's Blazers, 114-111, to take a two-games-to-none lead in the best-of-seven series, the younger Curry tried to distract his elder at the free throw. Good luck with that. 

"He [Steph] made the first one [free throw] and I told him that was like 70 in a row," Seth told reporters after the game. "I tried to jinx him a little bit. He was like, 'Alright, it's gonna be 72.' He made 'em both."

Take a look at the brotherly love below: 

"He tried to distract me at the free throw line in the fourth quarter," Steph said, "and I knew how to kind of go back at him to stay focused on what I needed to do." 

[RELATED: Seth impactful, but Steph wins Curry brothers' Game 2 battle]

Older brother Steph got the better of Seth in what was truly a battle of the Curry family that has their parents on an emotional roller coaster. The Warriors' star point guard scored a game-high 37 points and added eight assists and eight rebounds in the win. 

The brothers' next chance to one-up each other comes Saturday in Game 3 at the Moda Center in Portland.

Seth Curry “watches more basketball than anyone I've ever met”

Seth Curry “watches more basketball than anyone I've ever met”

OAKLAND – As soon as the final horn sounded in Denver and the Trail Blazers knew they were heading to the Western Conference Finals against the Golden State Warriors, the real life ‘Splash Brothers’ instantly become one of the biggest storylines of the West Finals.

On Thursday night, younger brother Seth Curry not only stole the ball from his older brother Stephen, at times he also stole the show.

Blazers head coach Terry Stotts went deep into his bench and it worked out well for a great majority of Game 2. Despite Portland holding a 15-point lead at the break, it all came down to the final seconds of the fourth quarter. The Warriors were able to get stops down the stretch and defeat the Blazers 114-111.

There was a lot to be encouraged by though after seeing the changes Portland made from Tuesday to Thursday. 

Portland played more aggressive on both ends and Seth Curry was a key piece on the defensive end.

Who knows Steph more than Seth?

Maybe their father, Dell?

One thing is for certain:  Seth is always up for the challenge of guarding his MVP brother, and after Seth’s performance in Game 2 he was pretty happy with his individual game.

“It felt good, it felt like I changed the game and put in more energy. I just made him work harder to get shots. I mean he is going to put numbers up, he is going to play well to try and change the momentum,” Seth said.

Warriors head coach Steve Kerr mentioned postgame that both Seth and Rodney Hood were key pieces off the bench for Portland. Kerr also said he thought about the Curry family during the game.

“I thought of their parents at one point,” Kerr said. “Can you imagine watching your two boys go head-to-head in a playoff game and both of them hitting huge shots? It must have been an amazing night for Dell [Curry] and Sonya [Curry] and Sydel [Curry]. It's an incredible story to have two boys in the NBA, but particularly in the Conference Finals, playing head-to-head and knocking down all these big shots. That must be fun.”

In the loss, Seth tied his NBA playoff career-high with 16 points.    

He also came up with timely steals and clutch three-pointers down the stretch. Seth finished with four steals and went 4-of-7 from deep. 

Trail Blazer All-Star Damian Lillard recorded a team-high 23 points in the loss. Lillard feels that there is a little extra motivation for Seth when he’s going up against his brother.

“I mean, they're brothers,” Lillard said. “You know, for me having my own older brother, I know what it's like to go against your brother and what it means. You know, they both know there's going to be conversations about this at some point when this series is over and they're going to play like it.”

Coach Stotts isn’t sold on the idea though that Seth is more aggressive and gets pumped up more to play against his older brother.

“I'm sure that has something to do with it, but I think he's a basketball player who competes, you know, and we're in the Western Conference Finals and he wants to do well,” Stotts said. “He had a terrific game at one point before they went on the run, his plus/minus was like a plus 24. So he had a very good game. I'm sure having his brother out there has something to do with it, but I think it goes beyond that.”

Meyers Leonard, who played extended minutes in Game 2, described Seth’s night as “incredible.”

“Obviously, he’s very close with his brother. He’s been around this [Warriors] team at times… He watches more basketball than anybody I’ve ever met,” Leonard said with a smile.

Leonard, Curry, and Hood were bright spots off the bench for Portland in Game 2, but it’s apparently Seth who watches the most basketball of anyone on the team.

“Before our games, he’s always just watching his film or another NBA game,” Leonard said.

“I’m serious, the guy is always watching basketball and he’s always watching his brother or if he’s not playing, he’s watching a different game,” Leonard said. “If nobody is playing he’s watching his game film. The guy is very dialed and calculated when it comes to understanding the game of basketball.”

Leonard contributed on the offensive end down the stretch of Game 2 with seven points in the final quarter. The Blazers backup center also believes that Seth knows more about his brother and his game, and more about the Warriors as a team.

“He knows [the Warriors] well,” Leonard said. “Seth being able to stay in front of guys and pick their pocket… His awareness of what they want [to do] is, I would say, at another level… Not only that, but he’s a big shot maker and he was really effective tonight.”

Curry led the Blazers’ bench in points and in plus/minus with a plus-13. He also played the most minutes of anyone on the second unit with 29 minutes.

He may watch the most basketball of anyone on the Blazers squad and that was confirmed after Seth said he has seen every single one of Steph’s games since Steph entered the league in 2009.

“I don’t back down from anything. I feel comfortable matching up with him. I’ve seen every Warriors game in the past ten years, I’ve seen every Steph game. He’s not the only one that I feel like I know some things about,” Curry said.

Seth and the Blazers were all about making the Warriors uncomfortable in Game 2.

In fact, Steph said Seth was “a pest” to play against on Thursday, while Seth said it was all about creating havoc.

Seth noted the differences from Game 1 to 2, saying, “we wanted to put pressure on their bigs, and I was trying to work hard on the defensive end to create havoc. They felt a little comfortable in the first game. I don’t think they were threatened by us at all in Game 1 and we changed that in Game 2.”

Now it’s about the Blazers, along with the Moda Center crowd, making the reigning champs even more uncomfortable on Saturday night in Portland.

Curry brothers go toe-to-toe in Game 2, Seth makes impact, Steph wins

Curry brothers go toe-to-toe in Game 2, Seth makes impact, Steph wins

OAKLAND -- The Portland Trail Blazers locker room was quiet before Game 2 of the Western Conference Finals. Maybe it was focus. Maybe it was anger. 

Sitting alone in his locker stall sat reserve shooting guard Seth Curry. Reserve has a double meaning when it comes to the younger brother of NBA superstar Stephen Curry. He comes off the bench for Terry Stotts, but he’s also a bit of an introvert.

His annual trip to Oakland to watch postseason basketball this season came courtesy of a team plane. He’s staying in a five star hotel, not at his brother’s house and he’s wearing Blazers red and black, instead of hanging out in the family suite. 

“It’s a weird experience for me because I’m usually here hoping these guys win and hoping Steph plays well,” the younger Curry told NBC Sports Bay Area during pregame. “I’m flipping the switch now and I’m trying to knock him off. I’m just trying to focus in on my job.”

Older by nearly three years, Steph has all the hardware. He’s a two-time MVP and three time NBA Champion. He’s led the league in scoring and is widely considered the greatest long range shooter in NBA history.

“Being able to watch Steph and experience his journey over the past five years going to the Finals, the playoffs, whatever it is, I’ve just been able to watch his process and how he prepares for every series in the playoffs and how he blocks out game by game all the storylines, I’m trying to do it as well,” Seth said. 

The younger Curry has fought his way into the league. The 28-year-old spent time in the D-League and played for four teams before having a breakout season with the Dallas Mavericks during the 2016-17 season. 

He sat out last year with a stress fracture in his lower left leg and signed with the Trail Blazers on a one-year deal over the summer. His play this season has likely earned a longer-term deal next year, whether in Portland or somewhere else in the league.

Curry has carved out a niche as a spark plug off the bench. He has that Curry range, like his brother and his father Dell, who played 16 years in the NBA beginning in 1986. 

Seth knocked down 45 percent on the season from long range and boasts a career mark of 43.9 percent from distance. 

This is his first chance to make the postseason since joining the league during the 2013-14 season. His Portland team has shocked the NBA with their play in this year’s playoffs, but facing off against his brother and the star-studded Warriors was not exactly what he was looking for. 

“No, no, no, no,” Curry said when asked if he was glad his first experience was again his brother. “It’s a weird experience to be here for myself, but they’ve been the best team in the league for a long time. It’s not an easy road, that’s a tough team. It’s never fun playing against Step and these Warriors just matching up head-to-head. But if we can knock them off, it’d be even sweeter.”

Curry came into the night averaging just 5.2 points in 19.2 minutes per game. Starters Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum have carried a ton of the scoring load throughout the postseason, but Golden State has done a nice job against the duo.

In Game 2, Curry was a difference maker early. He posted a +14 in 15 minutes during the first half of Thursday evening’s game. He was aggressive on both ends of the court as Stotts turned to a 3-guard small ball lineup. 

After the intermission, Stotts waited to turn back to Curry and paid the price. The Warriors quickly erased a 15-point halftime deficit and took a two-point lead with 2:01 remaining in the third. 

Curry entered the game and helped Portland get to the fourth quarter tied at 89-89. He continued his strong play in the final frame, leading the Blazers in scoring in the fourth with nine points on a perfect 3-of-3 from behind the arc. 

“Seth was incredible,” Klay Thompson said following the win. “He almost won the game for them. We got to do a better job on him. He had 16 points. That’s a huge impact, plus-13, se we got to try and eliminate his looks in the next game.”

Curry hit 5-of-9 from the field and added two assists in 29 minutes. On the defensive end, he picked up four steals, most of which came off of his big brother.

“It felt good, it felt like I changed the game and put in more energy,” Curry said following Portland’s 114-111 loss. “I just made him work harder to get shots. I mean, he is going to put up numbers, he is going to play well to try and change the momentum.”

The two brothers went at each other with the game on the line. Both hit tremendous shots, which helped their team, although the older, more experienced brother came out on top.

“I thought of their parents at one point,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr said. “Can you imagine watching your two boys go head-to-head in a playoff game and both of them hitting huge shots?”

“It’s an incredible story to have two boys in the NBA, but particularly in the Conference Finals, playing head-to-head and knocking down all of these big shots. That must have been fun.”

Fun or gut wrenching. Dell and Sonya Curry have watched their sons battle in the regular season, but never in the playoffs. 

“This was like the coolest experience I think I've ever had playing against him,” Steph told media members following the Warriors win. “We talked about the stage and he was -- he was amazing tonight.” 

“You know, every minute he was out there defensively, he was a pest,” Steph added. “Made three big shots the fourth quarter that were very timely and for my parents, I know we talked about the whole series, and these last two games, it's probably nerve-wracking as heck for them, but it worked out perfectly tonight: He played well and we won.”

Seth and his Trail Blazers teammates need to regroup. They’ll travel home to Portland and prepare for another match up against the Warriors Saturday at Moda Center. They’re down 2-0 in the series, but they’re home crowd is sure to be raucous. 

Did the Warriors "steal" that game or did the Blazers just hand it to them?

Did the Warriors "steal" that game or did the Blazers just hand it to them?

OAKLAND – The first words out of Steve Kerr’s mouth in the post-game press conference Thursday night were, “We stole that game.”

You could certainly make the case that Portland should have defeated Kerr’s Golden State Warriors, but it’s not really a steal when someone leaves the keys in the car with the motor running, then opens the door and invites you behind the wheel.

Before losing 114-111 to the Warriors, the Trail Blazers held a 17-point lead in the first half. They led by 15 at halftime before a horrendous third quarter left them tied.

But they still built an eight-point lead when Meyers Leonard hit a three-point field goal with 4:28 left in the game. But Portland would hit just one more basket the remainder of the game, a Seth Curry three with 1:03 to go that lifted the Blazers into a one-point lead.

This was a game that was right there for the Trail Blazers to win and they didn’t. And it was just as much their fault as anything the Warriors did.

Portland got big contributions from its bench. Curry scored 16 points and went 3-3 from the field in the final quarter. Rodney Hood scored 12 and Leonard, who didn’t even play in Game One, played all 12 minutes of the fourth quarter and finished with seven points, six rebounds and two assists.

The Trail Blazers made 18 three-point field goals and Golden State hit just nine and that stat alone would decide about 90 percent of NBA games. In other words, the Blazers had 27 more points from long range than Golden State.

But the third quarter, when the Warriors forced five turnovers and turned them into a whopping 13 points, vaulted Golden State back in the game.

Then, in the deciding fourth quarter, Portland managed to make just 8 of its 23 shots, including only 5 of 14 from long range. And the Warriors outrebounded the Blazers 16-9 in the final quarter.

Damian Lillard went 2-6 in the fourth quarter and CJ McCollum was 0-6. They combined to go 1-9 from three over those 12 minutes, too.

And the Warriors gave Portland fits with the Steph Curry-Draymond Green pick-and-roll and allowed some layups.

And that went a long way toward the Warriors’ “steal” of Game 2 of the series.

Lillard had an opportunity for a game-tying three-point shot at the end but couldn’t get it off against Andre Iguodala, on what looked to be a steal but was officially called a blocked shot in the play-by-play.

“Honestly, we were out of timeouts,” Terry Stotts said. “Just it wasn’t – we just got to get a shot up. You know, get him the ball. It’s a tough situation to be in. We couldn’t necessarily run a play but I thought he did the best job he could as far as trying to get a three up.”

Lillard maintained he was fouled on the play.

“You know, I got the ball,” Lillard said. “I think they knew we needed a three. I think it was under 10 seconds by the time I got a catch, and a quick two – we didn’t have any timeouts left. I don’t think that would have done much for us.

“We knew we were going to go for the three, so I was just trying to get space to get a three up. I know it’s a tough position for the referees to be in to make a call at that point of the game. I tried to get a little bit of space the first time and he grabbed my arm and I lost the ball a little bit. I regained it and I was going to shoot it again.

“But he got his hand on the ball.

“For me, as the offensive player, I felt like it was contact. There was a lot of contact. But obviously, the ref is not going to decide the game or jump in at that point. You know, so they – good defensive play.”

Iguodala explained his side of the play:

“Well, you look at the time and situation, up three, so the one thing that you don’t want to do is give up a three. You actually can take risks outside the three-point line and be extra aggressive. The key is not to give that up. If the guy drives by you, then you still have the lead. When you look at it that way, it wasn’t that good of a play.

“I just take odds on what you want to do and if the odds are in your favor, then for something like that to happen outside the three-point line.”

McCollum has a philosophical way of looking at games like this one – a pretty unbiased summary in most cases.

“I think it’s just a make-or-miss league,” he said. “We got some good looks. I personally had some good looks. I had an open three I missed, and I had a floater I missed late.

“They played good defense, but I can live with the shots I missed every day of the week and I think, you know, offensively we had some pretty good possessions.

“We just didn’t finish them.”

And didn’t finish the game well, either.

They have two more chances, next up at Moda Center – Saturday and Monday.

Stay ahead of your team in the Western Conference Finals. Get LIVE Trail Blazers coverage, in-depth articles, podcast, videos and more. Download the app, log-in and the Blazers are at your fingertips. Download Now

Rapid Reaction: 3 Quick Takeaways from the Trail Blazers loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 2

Rapid Reaction: 3 Quick Takeaways from the Trail Blazers loss to the Golden State Warriors in Game 2

OAKLAND – Entering Thursday’s Game 2, the Trail Blazers had talked about how they were going to make defensive changes and they also knew they had to knock down open shots.

On Thursday they did just that.

The Trail Blazers cleaned up the mistakes they had made in Game 1 and came out aggressive on the defensive end to make the Warriors more uncomfortable while not getting as many uncontested shots.

In the first half, the Blazers took control of the game, taking a 15-point lead into halftime. Yet, as everyone around the NBA knows the Warriors can score in bunches and quickly. Golden State started the second quarter on a 14-6 run to make it a game again. 

Blazers head coach Terry Stotts went deep into his bench and it worked out in the final quarter, just not enough. It came down to the wire, but the Warriors held onto beat the Blazers, 114-111.  

The series now shifts to Portland.

Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers told NBC Sports Bay Area that Kevin Durant (right calf) will not travel with the team to Portland for Games 3 and 4. Durant was re-evaluated on Tuesday night prior to Game 2. He suffered the calf strain in Game 5 of the Warriors and Rockets series.

Final Box Score: Warriors 114, Trail Blazers 111

Here are some quick thoughts from the Blazers Game 2 loss:

1. Blazers change up defensive pick and roll coverage

There were question marks heading into Game 2 regarding what the Blazers were thinking letting their bigs drop back so much and leave Stephen Curry so wide open on the pick and roll. Portland made adjustments in Game 2. The bigs were higher up on the screens not giving so much space and the Blazers were switching off ball screens more often than not. Plus, Portland’s defensive rotation was much quicker on Thursday night.

Portland was playing more aggressive on both ends and the scoreboard reflected it.

Blazers head coach Terry Stotts also put Rodney Hood on either Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson for a majority of the game to put more length on Golden State’s guards.

2. Portland role players step up

Just like in the First Round series against the Thunder, when Damian Lillard drove to the hoop and got caught in traffic, he would kick it out to a wide open Al-Farouq Aminu and Maurice Harkless. And like in that First Round series, Aminu and Harkless hit from outside. The three-point shooting by the Blazers was far better than what they had done just two days prior. Portland set a playoff franchise record with 11 three-pointers in a half.

It says a lot that the Blazers held a 15-point halftime lead after Lillard scored just 10 points in the first half. The Trail Blazers All-Star point guard really didn’t getting going offensively until late in the second quarter.

Seth Curry was also a key piece off the bench for Portland on both ends of the court. When he was on the floor the Blazers were a plus-13.

Enough said.

3. Warriors tighten up in fourth quarter

The game was all tied up at 89 apiece heading into the final period. Coach Stotts went with a rotation change and played Meyers Leonard in the fourth. Leonard and Lillard had a good two-man game going in the final 12 minutes. Golden State also missed lay-ups and open shots. With Portland starting the quarter outscoring the Warriors 13-5, Golden State and Porltand was trading baskets until the end. 

It was almost like the Warriors didn’t know what to do when Leonard was knocking down threes and Seth Curry kept coming up with clutch steals, however, in the end Golden State came up with timely stops and buckets. 

NEXT UP: The Trail Blazers and Warriors will tip-off Game 3 on Saturday night at 6:00pm. You can catch the game on NBC Sports Northwest. Our pregame coverage starts at 5:30pm.

Stay ahead of your team in the Western Conference Finals. Get LIVE Trail Blazers coverage, in-depth articles, podcast, videos and more. Download the app, log-in and the Blazers are at your fingertips. Download Now