There is just something this season about the Golden State Warriors playing in tight games…
After suffering a disappointing loss Friday night at the hands of the 26-41 Cleveland Cavaliers, a game that prompted a post-game team meeting between the Warriors’ players and coaching staff, they came into Sunday night’s match-up vs the Portland Trailblazers ready to redeem Friday night’s poor loss.
The Portland Trailblazers were 43-23 going in the Sunday night match-up and are fighting off the Warriors for possession of the 5th seed in the Western Conference. They would have to continue that battle without the services of their all-star Power-Forward LaMarcus Aldridge due to a back injury he suffered in the Blazer’s Wednesday night loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
After a tough first quarter battle between these two teams the Trailblazers started to pull away in the second quarter opening the lead to 11 by halftime, and going into the third quarter the Blazers stretched the lead to as much as 18… and then the Splash Brothers happened.
After struggling in the first half, both Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson started to heat up in 3rd quarter and then by the time the 4th quarter was underway they had caught complete fire, as Curry scored 28 of his 37 points in the second half including going 5-8 from the 3 point line. Thompson, who also had a poor start in the first-half managed to score most of his 27 points in the second half as well, including having 3 forth quarter three pointers. It was a close game all 4th quarter as there were many lead changes down the stretch.
At one point the game was tied at 107-107 with 1:00 minute to go in the game, the Warriors grabbed the rebound and Curry pushed the ball up the court and found his fellow Splash Brother trailing on the right wing well behind the three point line and Thompson rose and drilled a 28 footer with 53 seconds left stunning the Portland crowd as the Warriors took a 110-107 lead. Then the Blazers young star point guard Damian Lillard scored on a quick lay-up with 46 seconds left to cut the score to 110-109. Stephen Curry then turned the ball over on the next possession which put Lillard in transition and was able to draw a foul on Harrison Barnes to shoot two free-throws for the 111-110 lead with 20 seconds left.
The Warriors then drew up a beautiful play out of the time-out and Steph Curry drew four Blazers defenders to the hoop and Curry kicked it out to Harrison Barnes who then quickly touch-passed it to Thompson for another three pointer to put the Warriors up 113-111 with 11 seconds, stunning the Rose Garden for a second time in the game. On the next possession Blazers Small Forward Nicolas Batum was fouled by Andre Iguodala and had an opportunity to tie the game with two free throws, and Batum was unable to make the second free throw that would have tied the game and the Warriors were able to drain out the clock securing the 113-112 win.
It was a well needed win as the Trailblazers are a very good team especially at home, and also the Warriors need to stay above the Mavaricks, Suns, and Grizzles in the Western conference playoffs. With this win the Warriors also put themselves a game and half back of the Trailblazers for the fifth seed in the Western Conference.