The Pioneer

Warriors win without Steph

Photo Courtesy of Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Photo Courtesy of Nhat V. Meyer/Bay Area News Group/TNS

Louis LaVenture,
Editor-in-Chief

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Many people thought losing Stephen Curry would spell disaster for the Golden State Warriors’ championship aspirations. For much of yesterday’s second round playoff game against the Portland Trailblazers, they were right.

The Blazers came out on fire and scored 34 points in the first quarter, the most allowed by the Warriors in a first quarter during these playoffs, and led by as many as 17 points in the game. It was also the first time this season that Golden State has trailed at halftime in any of their seven playoff games this year.

Things did not look good. Then the other half of the splash brothers, Klay Thompson, found his stroke and nailed some huge shots to grab some of the momentum back. It wasn’t until 5:33 left in the fourth quarter, when Thompson nailed three of his game-high 27 points to give Golden State their first lead of the game, which led to a 2-0 series lead after the 110-99 victory at Oracle Arena in Oakland.

“We were just locked in on both sides of the ball,” Thompson said in a press conference after the game. “We can build on this game. That effort there in the fourth quarter is what it’s going to take to beat this team.”

The backcourt for the Blazers had them off to a great start, CJ McCollum and Oakland native Damian Lillard combined to score 47 points, but it just wasn’t enough, even without the reigning MVP Curry who was expected to miss two weeks with an MCL sprain in his right knee. Team officials have mentioned that Curry’s injury has progressed some and his status will be evaluated everyday.

The Warriors went into the final quarter trailing the Blazers 87-76 after Lillard hit a buzzer beating three to end the frame. Thompson hit a three-pointer midway through the fourth quarter that finalized the comeback and caused the raucous crowd to go crazy, which forced Portland Head Coach Terry Stotts to take a timeout.

“It got away from us in the fourth quarter,” Stotts said in a press conference after the game. “It’s disappointing to lose a game you’re competitive and you’re in position to win in the fourth quarter. We’ve got to close it out. It was an opportunity to get a win on the road. We’ve got to learn from it.”

Dubs do-it-all-player Draymond Green had a triple double last game and did not disappoint in game two. Green struggled early, but like Thompson, found his groove about halfway through the game and finished with 17 points, a game-high 14 rebounds, 7 assists and 4 blocks. Guards Shaun Livingston, Harrison Barnes and Andre Iguodala all scored in double digits in the win for the Dubs.

Golden State is now 5-1 against the Blazers this season, as the series will shift to Portland for games three and four on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and Monday at 7:30 p.m.

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