The Golden State Warriors broke out of their four-game losing streak with a dominant performance, winning 125-97 against the Portland Trailblazers. Despite missing Stephen Curry and Draymond Green again, the champs made a post-Thanksgiving statement by beating the stuffing out Portland. The Blazers were on the final game of a six game road trip, and their weary legs were no match for the Warriors renewed energy.
Kevin Durant led all scorers with 32 points on 13-of-21 shooting from the field, with 8 rebounds, and 7 assists. Klay Thompson was balling in his own right, tallying 31 points, and drilling 4-of-9 shots from three-point range. Quinn Cook held his own against Portland’s guards, tallying 19 points and knocking down 5 triples.
Blazers’ guard and Oakland native Damian Lillard couldn’t show out in front of his hometown fans, as he could only muster 24 points on 23 shots. C.J. McCollum struggled as well, scoring 18 points on 18 shots.
Thompson started out with a rabid aggression, targeting Portland’s smaller guys the same way I targeted the cranberry sauce last night at Thanksgiving. McCollum was literally helpless as Thompson dribbled to his spots, put his back to the basket, and nailed turnarounds in McCollum’s face. Thompson took 10 shots in the first quarter, knocking down 5.
In the second quarter, Dub Nation finally got that Durant MVP-level detonation they’d been impatiently waiting for during the losing streak.
The Dubs are fired up tonight pic.twitter.com/buxOqqoLpS— Warriors on NBCS (@NBCSWarriors) November 24, 2018
Durant finished the half with 19 points on 8-of-15 shooting, and 3 emphatic blocks. The Warriors energy was infectious, as the role players supported the two All-Stars with gang rebounding and crisp ball movement. Jordan Bell in particular was amazing in the first half, and was a +17 in his 8 minutes.
Some electricity from Kevin Durant tonight, especially the last few minutes: Blocked Lillard at the rim, rose for an alley oop, just had an and-1 transition dunk, then celebrated with some Oracle fans. The Warriors have a little life.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) November 24, 2018
The only concern for the Dubs was the continued lackluster play of big man project Damian Jones.
The ups and downs of early-season Damian Jones are now going in one direction. He's trending toward late-career Andris Biedrins territory. The more he plays, the more lost he seems.— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) November 24, 2018
Warriors 59, Trailblazers 44
The Warriors were eager to keep the feeding frenzy. as Thompson’s hot hand stayed hot.
That Blazers backcourt was repeatedly victimized defensively. I just don’t see them ever evolving into true contenders as long as they lack defensive length in their back-court.
Kevon Looney fouled out, but received a strong ovation for a night that he was a force. He effectively switched onto Portland’s dangerous guards and harassed them into limp jumpers.
The Warriors finally had an offensive eruption, shooting 57% from the field, and knocking down 17-of-32 from beyond the arc. The Blazers found little daylight against the champs’ defense, only shooting 40% from the field, 37% from downtown.
That KD block on McCollum reminded me of “don’t worry about the top of things.”— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) November 24, 2018
WOW IS THIS WHAT WINNING FEELS LIKE?! Tomorrow at 5:30 the Warriors have to keep these good home vibes rolling against the upstart Kings. Let’s get a win streak going, baby!