ORACLE ARENA, OAKLAND, CA — This is a continuation of the halftime recap of the Portland Trail Blazers at the Golden State Warriors, Game 1 of the opening round of the 2017 NBA Playoffs.
The game was tied, 56-56, at halftime.
Q3: Lillard Brings Blazers Back Again
CJ McCollum started where he left off, putting back his own missed runner to start the second half. Draymond Green also took advantage of a mismatch down low against Damian Lillard:
Stephen Curry then made a series of scoops and threes, dissecting the Blazers’ defense in the process, but the Warriors couldn’t do anything to stop Portland’s scoring, either.
A Moe Harkless dunk down low was far too easy as Green was left on the other side while Noah Vonleh was doubled in the paint and made the easy bounce pass to Harkless.
Lillard also got into the action, answering Curry’s last scoop, which came from an up-fake beyond the arc after an interior pass from Zaza Pachulia to Green.
Thompson went strong with the dribble against McCollum for a nice bucket, but couldn’t get going after that.
McCollum grabbed Steph on offense, turning the ball over, but Curry came back with the pick-and-roll off both Green and Pachulia, but Zaza got his arm up too high and was whistled for the bad screen.
In a wild subsequent sequence, Lillard missed a three from the top, Steph tapped the ball out on the rebound, headed the other way, found Klay, but Thompson threw the ball back and into the Blazers hands.
Vonleh went on the attack and rose for a dunk, but Draymond was there to deny him:
Curry led the break, but Thompson missed a bang-bang triple from the right corner, Evan Turner came back pushing the action as well, and found Harkless for a dunk, prompting Warriors head coach Steve Kerr to call timeout with 5:33 remaining and the Blazers up, 74-73.
Kerr subbed in JaVale McGee out of the timeout, Klay missed again, but Durant outlet a miss by McCollum to Iguodala, and Andre lofted the ball to McGee for a two-hand smash.
Turner made a valiant three on the catch in response, but Thompson came back with a right-side drive for a scoop.
Later, Lillard went down the left side, only to be met by a swat down block by JaVale. Iguodala saved the ball from the baseline, found Klay flaring down the right sideline, but he missed again from distance.
However, McGee was there again to save the day, tracking down the offensive rebound and finding Steph on the left arc for a side-step three:
With #Roaracle approaching bedlam, Blazers head coach Terry Stotts had no choice but to call timeout, the Warriors taking an 80-77 lead with 3:30 to play.
Out of the timeout, JaVale wasn’t done, helping out a switched Curry on Harkless for another blocked shot, and at the other end, Steph found Durant for a drive plus the harm:
After the Blazers couldn’t connect, Curry missed a jumper, but McGee was there again to dive for the ball for a tap-out to Shaun Livingston, who found Steph again. Curry drove and drew two free throws, and the Warriors had their largest lead, 85-77, with 2:24 to go.
But the Blazers rose up, as Lillard hit a banker past JaVale’s help, then drilled a triple over Iguodala after a Durant stop-and-pop, and McCollum hit a pull-up over Draymond.
Lillard then drew an offensive foul on Steph down the left side, the referee initially wanting to call a block but then changing his motion into a charge call, and Damian assisted Pat Connaughton for an and-one jumper with the foul on Ian Clark and the Blazers amazingly drew a draw, 88-88, heading into the final frame.
Q4: Draymond Denies
Green got the Warriors off on the right foot in the fourth with a three from the top that trickled in and, later, Clark provided another spark as he did in the first half, leaking ahead and making his own putback:
After Al-Farouq Aminu’s attack against Draymond went awry with a brick, Andre Iguodala led the transition and dished to Clark in the right corner for three:
Stotts took a timeout as the Warriors pushed ahead, 97-90, with 8:58 left.
Out of the timeout, Green stopped McCollum at the rim, then stole the ball from Lillard, leading to Clark free throws, then stole the ball again, but missed a dunk, resulting in a three-ball by McCollum, assisted by Lillard, and Kerr took a timeout with 6:36 remaining, but Golden State having built a 103-93 lead.
Later, the Blazers crept back to a 105-99 deficit before Draymond tipped in a miss by Curry, then at the other end, denied Lillard’s dunk…
…which ended with Durant side-stepping a layup assisted by Steph.
After the timeout, Green and Thompson trapped McCollum, forcing a turnover, and Durant cashed in again at the other end with a pull-up jumper.
Durant added an iso jumper, and a few sequences later, Draymond got the dunk he missed last time for an and-one on a dish from “KD”, and the Warriors held a commanding 115-101 lead with 2:44 to play.
Closing the game out, both teams traded free throws, but after a Lillard three went awry, Durant hit a fade-away on another iso, making it 121-105 Golden State with just 50.4 seconds to go.
Lillard got a put-back slam off a McCollum miss, then added a meaning hook shot to end the game, and the Warriors (1-0) took Game 1 of the opening round of the NBA Playoffs with a final score of 121-109 over the Blazers.
The two teams will square off again at Oracle in three nights.