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Back to the future: Warriors vs. Blazers

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How did Golden State do with their keys to victory against Portland?

Golden State Warriors v Portland Trail Blazers Photo by Abbie Parr/Getty Images

The Golden State Warriors lost a heartbreaker on Wednesday night. How many times have we said those words this year? Sure feels like a lot.

While watching Steph Curry and Damian Lillard battle was fun, watching the Warriors lose to the Portland Trail Blazers 108-106 was not.

Let’s revisit the keys to victory and see how they did.

Early offense

The key: Find early offensive rhythm against a poor defensive team.

The outcome: Part of what made the game so frustrating was that the Warriors nailed this key. The offense came out firing, and the Warriors jumped out to a 10-0 lead. They led 15-2 less than five minutes into the game.

The offense was clicking and then ... it stopped.

Grading the key: 8.5 out of 10.

Limit Kanter

The key: Don’t let Enes Kanter feast at the rim or on the boards.

The outcome: Kanter 14 rebounds in just 23 minutes and made all four of his shots at the rim. Enough said.

Grading the key: 1 out of 10.

Limit Melo

The key: Keep Carmelo Anthony from having a strong game off the bench.

The outcome: Anthony tied Lillard as the Blazers leading scorer with 22 points, and he was highly efficient in the process, shooting 8-for-13 and 4-for-5 from the free throw line. Add in 4 assists, and Melo was clearly one of the most impactful players on the court.

Grading the key: 1 out of 10.

Wings

The key: Get solid contributions from the wings.

The outcome: I listed this key before Kelly Oubre Jr. was ruled out, so it’s partially incomplete. But Andrew Wiggins had another rough games, with more shot attempts (15) than points (14). Kent Bazemore played strong defense in Oubre’s place, but wasn’t very efficient offensively either.

Damion Lee was nice off the bench, but not a good day for the wings.

Grading the key: 4 out of 10.

Welp.