Warriors race past Blazers behind Curry’s 32 points

Somehow there are certain cities and arenas around the league that make it very difficult to achieve wins. For Portland (11-8) they need to figure out a way to change their phone number so that Golden State (6-11) doesn’t continue to wreak havoc every single time the Warriors and Blazers play each other. Considering that Portland was playing their third game in three nights, the Blazers’ game plan was mainly to stop top scorer Monta Ellis and defend the three-point line, something that the Warriors live and breathe on. It worked for much of the game until Portland let Stephen Curry and David Lee run absolute wild and fall again in Oakland in a 101-93 loss, grabbing a 2-1 record on the back-to-back-to-back schedule.

Beating a worthy Memphis team last night at the Rose Garden, Portland didn’t succumb to tired legs in the opening quarter, the defense looking alive and aware, Marcus Camby who was so effective the night before with 23 rebounds, was getting it going on the offensive end scoring four points and grabbing five rebounds. The Blazers go up surprising on a 11-4 lead, Gerald Wallace picking up on sloppy Warrior passing and 3-4 from all attempts at the rim. However it was LaMarcus Aldridge who had the cold shooting hand at first, missing his first four as he was five for five in the beginning of the Grizzlies match.

Ellis, one of the most dangerous shooting guards in the league is averaging 23.1 points per game and is the killer when playing against Portland, missed his first three shot attempts and never really looked to shoot for the rest of the night. On the other side, Jamal Crawford and Wesley Matthews on threes push Portland to a 22-12 lead at an overall 50% but you knew that Golden State wasn’t going to stay quiet for long. Stephen Curry and Brandon Rush go wild from the three and on the fast break at the right time when Portland go cold in the final minutes of the first (making 1-7), the Blazers go up 26-24.

The Warriors who are legendary for running a high-speed offense begin picking up the pace and are only interested in shooting threes and jumpers rather than drive it inside. For example, the Blazers bench are slow to reach Rush beyond the arc and he connects for 3 bombs and puts the Warriors up 38-34. Aldridge secures his first points of the game with 5:20 left in the second while Ellis doesn’t make his first basket till four minutes left. Portland and Golden State go back and forth for quite sometime, Crawford was decent from downtown tonight and hits one before half and leads a 9-0 run to go into the half 53-48, the last time Portland would ever lead.

The Blazers manage to hang around and keep Golden State on their heels and as the minutes ticked away their defense got slow getting to the outside shooters, Curry hits two consecutive threes to tie the game at 65. They completely forgo driving inside like they always do and Portland can’t keep up with the quick shooting Warriors. More threes by Curry and fast break dunks by Dorell Wright take them to their largest lead 77-70 as Curry scores 16 points in the third.

A 22-10 Warrior run dooms Portland in the long run, it was nice to see the Blazers play unselfish basketball but it got to the point that too many passes led to turnovers or bad shot selections. Fighting the shot clock on every possession, Portland forget to cover Lee at the free throw line and he drills a few key shots to put the game away for good. The Blazers have few chances to tie the game but turn the ball over on both and end up losing game at Oracle Arena.

Nine Trail Blazers scored in tonight’s match: LaMarcus Aldridge kept to 18 Pts, 7 Reb, 5 Ast and didn’t catch heat till the second quarter and was not a factor later in the game. Both Jamal Crawford and Nicolas Batum had 16 Pts off the bench, Crawford hit 4-10 threes while Batum was a huge help on the defensive ends, he was on the tail end on many Warrior fast breaks to block the shots from behind, Batum had 2 Blks. Wesley Matthews with 15 Pts, Raymond Felton dished 7 Ast and Marcus Camby collected 16 Reb.

Both Portland and Golden State scored 30 points in the paint and had 11 on the fast break. The Warriors average about 41% from the floor this season but never fell beyond 51% tonight. The Warriors also hit 11-20 three pointers, Curry cashed in 6-8, Dorell Wright 2-4 and Brandon Rush a perfect 3-3. Curry single handily beat Portland throughout, scoring 32 Pts, 7 Ast and had 4 Stl. Big man David Lee also knows the secret of beating the Blazers, he had a monster fourth quarter and had 26 Pts, 5 Reb, 3 Ast. Monta Ellis went into a passing mode and left the shooting to Curry/Lee, Ellis only had 4 Pts but had 12 dimes on the night.

For Blazer fans, we kind off saw this coming. Thankfully this stretch of three games in now over and Portland fared pretty well than most people thought they would. A day of rest is in the books before taking sweet revenge on Steve Nash and the Suns at the Rose Garden. The Blazers will look to bounce after an awful performance in Phoenix and get back on track.

photos courtesy of nba.com/blazers