Durant-less Warriors put the squeeze on Trail Blazers

Paola Ditto
Aprile 21, 2017

"Pat's one of those guys where he doesn't show that he's overly confident, because he'll never say anything", said a delighted Draymond Green after Golden State's 110-81 dismantling of the Portland Trail Blazers.

Portland's star backcourt combined for 75 points in a 121-109 loss Sunday, and the Blazers now are trying to find better ways to get others involved.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - JaVale McGee has made a name for himself catching lob passes and reliably slamming them home to the pure delight of his teammates, and oh did those matter for the short-handed Golden State Warriors as they moved one win closer to another National Basketball Association championship.

The Blazers will be without center Jusuf Nurkic, who is recovering from a right leg fracture.

After spending nearly three decades around the NBA, Kerr recognized that teams that have experienced a significant regular-season injury are better prepared for the unpredictability of the playoffs.

It wasn't that surprising because the Warriors planned to be extra cautious with their superstar, who recently returned for the final three games of the regular season after being sidelined for 19 games with a Grade 2 MCL sprain in his left knee and bruised tibia. Washington plays host to Atlanta, Houston to Oklahoma City and Golden State to Portland. "But at the end of the day it's a team game and I'd rather win the game than go into a back court battle".

"They know that's what our team is built on", Kerr said of the Golden State defence. "If he didn't practice, there's concern", Warriors coach Steve Kerr said about Durant's calf and his status.

Head to head, the Warriors are 35-17 ATS in the last 52 meetings overall and 11-5 ATS in the last 16 meetings in Portland. "I'm not 100 percent", Nurkic said. He lead the Warriors in scoring at the end of the second half and went 7-7 from the field to end the evening.

"It's a series and points don't carry over", Lillard said. By the time the buzzer sounded for intermission, McGee had gone 6-of-6 for 13 points, with three blocks. While Lillard and McCollum got loose in the first half of Game 1, but the start of Game 2, the Warriors had tightened up their pick-and-roll switches and adjusted their spacing to drive both players into disfavored spots.

One major difference from Game 1 to Game 2? He finished with a team-high 32 points in 36 minutes.

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Wednesday, the Oakland infirmary included not just Durant, but Shaun Livingston and Matt Barnes.

The scene now shifts to Game 3 in Portland on Saturday.

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