Warriors take 2-0 series lead on Blazers, win without Durant
Apr 21 2017 by Marjorie Miles
Golden State took the day off from practice Thursday following the 110-81 victory, then was scheduled to practice Friday morning before flying to Portland.
The Rockets erased a 15-point deficit to take a 2-0 lead after game two of their Western Conference series. "Those guys have been good players in this league for a long, long time". So here are a few takeaways from Wednesday's loss.
Portland would bear down in the middle minutes Rebounds came easier as the Warriors missed a raft of jumpers.
Damian Lillard and C.J. CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard scored a combined 23 points, which is about a third of the damage they inflicted in game one. McCollum, on the other hand, never got in the flow. Forward Maurice Harkless was the high scorer for the Blazers with 15 points. Teammate and fellow shooting guard Thompson called it McCaw's best game of the season so far.
Al-Farouq Aminu andNoah Vonleh were largely non-factors. As a team, the Blazers shot just 33 percent from the field and seven of 34 from the three-point line. Thompson scored 16 points on 6-of-17 shooting.
The Blazers were plagued with turnovers and poor shooting in the second half. As Kerr put it at a pre-game press conference, it's a big difference between losing him for a game or two compared to losing him for several weeks. While the Blazers kept threatening the fight back into the game, the Warriors kept executing. There's also an outside chance that Jusuf Nurkic will be available which would be a major boost for the Blazers who desperately need that interior scoring option.
"It's about camaraderie, it's about getting better", said assistant coach Jarron Collins, who regularly studies film with McGee. "So give them credit for playing well defensively, but I certainly know we can play better offense than we did". Rushing him onto the floor for this series would be foolish. Lillard had one particularly rough sequence in which he walked down court and jacked a 30-footer early in the clock that missed badly.
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Defensively the Warriors smothered the Blazers by daring Portland to shoot open 3-pointers. This outdid their Game 1 post output of 44 points. Because everything about the Warriors and Durant is a big deal.
McGee made all seven of his field goals Wednesday.
Paul Millsap had 27 points and 10 rebounds for the Hawks. Those combined 25 points are 13 above their collective season average. Meanwhile, Pachulia simply got positional advantage on his four made layups and was dared to make an uncontested jump shot on his fifth made basket.
When asked who has helped with his defense this season, McGee was succinct in his praise, highlighting the efforts of Golden State assistant coach and defensive mastermind Ron Adams: "Shout out to Ron Adams".
The scene now shifts to Game 3 in Portland on Saturday. Instead, being able to outrebound and outdefend the Warriors is key, as the Cavaliers showed in Games 5 through 7 of last year's NBA Finals.
The terrifying message for the rest of the National Basketball Association - apart from watching the Warriors' reserves pick apart a formidable foe - is how adaptive the Warriors were between games 1 and 2.
Before we get to the roster, let's talk strategy. "We've seen him play a number of games, and he has his moments, but he's not coming in and doing what he's been doing in these first two games".