The Golden State Warriors roared back from a sleepy start, but fell late to the Portland Trail Blazers, 123-117. Kevin Durant went absolutely supernova in Portland, terrorizing Rip City for drafting Greg Oden over him many moons ago. He had 50 points on 17-of-27 shooting from the field, and added 7 rebounds and 6 assists. The Splash Bros were dominated by Portland’s backcourt, as Stephen Curry had 17 points with a ghastly 7 turnovers, and Klay Thompson matched him with 17 points on 15 shots.
On the other side, Son of Oakland, Damian Lillard, carried the load for the Blazers, scoring 44 points with 8 dimes. C.J. McCollum added a backbreaking 29 points. The Blazers led the majority of the game, and went shot-for-shot with the champs down the stretch in a furious finish.
The Warriors allowed the Trail Blazers to show the children of Portland what a BASKETBALL CLINIC looks in the first quarter. The Blazers scored 40 points, and a fired up Portland crowd was in full ecstasy. The three hallmarks of crappy Warriors first quarters were there: turnovers (6, 4 of them by Curry), lackadaisical defense (Lillard had 18 points by his damn self), and fear of rebounds (17-9 deficit on the boards).
Curry was out of sorts, not scoring a field goal until the very last second of the first quarter. Thankfully, unlike Portland, we have more than one All-Star. Durant went full Optimus Prime mode to keep the Warriors in striking distance early, scoring a dazzling 20 points after two quarters.
Then Durant’s eyes rolled back and he ascended into his “Slim Reaper” form, a state of basketball destruction so powerful he doesn’t even like to be associated with the name.
Unfortunately, Lillard was almost as flammable as Durant.
Curry drew that defensive assignment and could do nothing to stop the All-Star. Even though the Warriors outscored the Blazers 90-83 over the last three quarters, their first quarter dug them a deep enough hole that they had very little margin for error.
The champs had 24 assists/24 turnovers, shot 47% from the field, and couldn’t find a final surge down the stretch to knock out a very game Portland team in their hostile arena. The Blazers only had 13 turnovers, and those extra possessions paid big dividends late. Portland would salt the game away down the stretch with clutch free throws, and send the Dubs packing with a loss.
Warriors doomed by a -13 first quarter, fall in Portland, drop to 44-14 heading into the All-Star break, sink to the #2 seed in the West. Rockets 0.5 games up, also hold tiebreaker.— Anthony Slater (@anthonyVslater) February 15, 2018
The Blazers are always a tough out in their building. Sheesh, this tough loss gives the Houston Rockets a taste of what being in first place feels like. It’s a shame to waste such a fantastic performance from Durant and blah blah blah IT’S FINALLY THE ALL STAR BREAK WOO-HOO!!!!!
The Dubs can get the hell away from each other for a week and recharge their batteries. That is, except for our four All-Stars who will be soaking up all that media attention this weekend, reppin’ the Town!
Now please help yourself to screaming about how much it sucks anytime the champions take a regular season “L” in the comments section below, as we don’t get them around these parts very often.
Happy Valentine’s Day folks!
Who was your Warrior Wonder against the Blazers?
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