Live from the Moda Center as the Portland Trail Blazers host the Golden State Warriors.
My goodness that last road trip couldn’t have gone much worse. Not only are the Blazers in the midst of their first four-game losing streak of the season, their healthy players are dropping like flies. Everything is definitely not coming up Milhouse.
LaMarcus Aldridge is out with a sprained finger on his non-shooting hand, Nicolas Batum is down with a sore back, and Chris Kaman will also miss tonight with a bum shoulder. Great. Now is a perfect time for the Blazers to go up against the best team in the league.
Oh, the Warriors. They are pretty, pretty, pretty good. The Blazers had a glimmer of hope coming into tonight, as there was talk of Golden State resting some of their players on the second night of a back to back, but only backup point guard Shaun Livingston will be sitting out. As a new dad, the idea of voluntary rest offends me. What, you can just sit out because you’re a little tired? Though I’d be all for it if it were Steph Curry skipping tonight...
Maybe instead of playing this one out we can just have Steph and Dame go one-on-one, first to fifty by ones and twos? That seems like much more fun than watching the Blazers inevitably pick up their fifth loss in a row.
No, really, the Warriors are freaking good. I'm not being pessimistic in thinking the Blazers don't have a chance without three of their top eight players. Golden State is going to finish this season with a margin of victory greater than ten points. Only seven other teams in history have done that, and of those seven, six went on to win it all. Steve Kerr for president. Sorry, national TV audience, but this one is going to be a blowout. Might as well chalk up another double digit victory for the Warriors now.
It still hasn't been officially announced, but it appears as though Alonzo Gee and Dorell Wright will get the start tonight for Aldridge and Batum. Oof. That starting lineup is a little light on offensive firepower. Dame is going to have to do all of the heavy lifting and drop sixty plus, and even that might not give the Blazers enough for a victory.
Though, if there ever were a game for Dame to explode, this might be it. After yesterday's sneaker selling fiasco, dude might be on a rampage.
The Golden State bandwagon fan is alive and well—this place is littered with Warriors fans. I'm happy for them. Seeing your team pick up a championship after six long months of being a fan has to be a great feeling.
11:44 - The Blazers started with Dame guarding Klay Thompson...and Klay drilled a two in his face. It's going to be a long night. 2-0 Warriors.
10:35 - To the guy behind me yelling "Steph, pop it!!" every time Curry touches the ball, I salute you and your dedication. 5-0 Warriors.
10:15 - The Blazers finally got on the board after Dame drained a long triple to beat the shot clock buzzer. 5-3 Warriors.
7:43 - The crowd is bringing it tonight, and Portland is scrapping hard. Don't look now, but this one is all tied up. 10-10 Tie.
5:59 - Okay, I take back what I said earlier. I'm glad these teams are playing. Despite Portland being light on healthy bodies, they are pushing the tempo and attacking attacking attacking. Every Blazers starter has scored and assisted on a basket thus far. 17-14 Blazers.
4:42 - Dame for three! Curry with an air ball! It's all happening! 22-18 Blazers.
3:14 - Alonzo Gee to the rim! Dame drawing a charge on Draymond Green! If the Blazers lose by twenty, remember this first quarter fondly. 26-20 Blazers.
2:53 - You know a game is fun when it goes ten minutes before either team shoots free throws. And you know it's even funner when Dame connects on both freebies. 28-20 Blazers.
0:00 - Whew. After the Warriors ripped off a 6-0 run to get right back into it, Dame salvaged the quarter by drawing a shooting foul just before time expired. He knocked down both his free throws, upping his point total to twelve, and somehow the Blazers are still in the lead! 30-26 Blazers.
11:13 - Allen Crabbe is both alive and dunking the basketball? Great! 32-26 Blazers.
10:48 - Joel Freeland with the and-one. Next man up, indeed. Portland has rolled out all ten healthy players they have suited up for tonight, and so far everyone has contributed. 35-28 Blazers.
9:19 - Aaaand we're tied up again. There's only so much the Blazers can do with this mish mash lineup of Freeland, Leonard, and Crabbe, and the Warriors have understandably ripped off a 7-0 run. 35-35 Tie.
7:34 - McCollum with seven quick points! If there was anything positive to come out of the road trip from hell, it's that CJ is looking like an irrationally confident bench scorer. Dude can put up points in a hurry, and he's not afraid to shoot. 42-37 Blazers.
6:37 - CJ for another three. He is on something else. If dude wants to bust out the big balls dance after his next make, I'll help cover the fine. Wow. 47-39 Blazers.
5:17 - Back to back threes for Dame and Dorell Wright! What is this madness?! 53-41 Blazers.
4:34 - Steph hit 'em with the sauce, though, with back to back threes of his own. Chef Curry with the pot, boy. 53-47 Blazers.
2:31 - The Warriors have the best defense in the league. The Blazers have put up sixty, and there's still over two minutes left in this game. I don't even. 60-52 Blazers.
1:03 - Dorell Wright and CJ McCollum have combined for twenty-two points. That is all. 62-55 Blazers.
0:23 - Steph can dunk?! He caught a long outlet pass off of a Dame miss and threw it down with one hand. Pretty viciously, I might add. By the way his bench reacted, they didn't know he could do that. 62-57 Blazers.
0:00 - That was fun. I'll take twenty-four minutes of that, please. 62-57 Blazers.
11:48 - The Blazers started the quarter by running an out of bounds play to get Gee an alley oop. Okay, then. 64-57 Blazers.
9:25 - So much for that lead. Hey, at least the Blazers are already having a better third quarter against Golden State than Washington did last night. 66-66 Tie.
8:27 - A transition three from Curry both gives the Warriors the lead and forces Portland to call time. For those keeping track, Golden State is on a 12-4 run to start the third. 69-66 Warriors.
6:04 - The Warriors defense has shifted into third gear. 75-69 Warriors.
5:41 - The Warriors offense has shifted into fourth gear. Timeout Portland, and there is a smattering of Golden State fans out here going nuts and acting like they have this won already. 77-69 Warriors.
5:05 - Steph from the corner. That's now a 23-7 run for Golden State this quarter. 80-69 Warriors.
4:04 - CJ with the old fashioned three-point play, finally giving the Blazers a little lift. It felt like they were in danger of not scoring again this quarter. 80-72 Warriors.
3:01 - A nice double screen from Joel and Meyers sprung Dame for his easiest look from deep tonight, and he hit nothing but net. Timeout Golden State. 82-77 Warriors.
1:24 - Dame is gassed, and Steve Blake is checking in to spell him for a bit. Portland is going to need twelve amazing fourth quarter minutes from Lillard to have even the slightest shot of clawing back into this. 87-79 Warriors.
0:47 - Damn, the Warriors can score in a hurry. The Blazers are giving it everything they have, but Golden State is just too good. 91-79 Warriors.
0:00 - Oh, no big deal, just a 36-18 quarter advantage for Golden State. Ugh. 93-80 Warriors.
11:15 - Has Andre Iguodala missed tonight? Has CJ? Both just traded threes to start the quarter, and I'm pretty sure both are like 10000% from the floor. 96-83 Warriors.
9:00 - Allen Crabbe has missed roughly five open threes tonight. I miss Nic. And Wes. 98-86 Warriors.
8:02 - Hey, Crabbe didn't miss that one! Finally! Meyers Leonard secured an offensive rebound, and Crabbe knocked down the triple. Timeout Warriors, presumably because their lead is under ten points and they need to protect that precious margin of victory. 100-91 Warriors.
7:03 - The Warriors have picked up at least four easy dunks at the rim this half. Whatever defense the Blazers are playing on the pick and roll needs to stop. 104-91 Warriors.
6:32 - Wait, what?! I don't even know what's going on, but either Allen Crabbe or Arron Afflalo is playing center right now. Portland has five guards on the floor. 104-93 Warriors.
5:21 - Alonzo Gee is now the tallest player on the court for the Blazers...and he's guarding Steph Curry. The Blazers need to get healthy and fast. 106-95 Warriors.
4:35 - A faint "MVP" chant here as Curry went to the line for two free throws. Shut it down. It's over. 110-95 Warriors.
3:01 - Dame had three defenders surround him and strip the ball away, and he clearly wanted the foul call. He loafed it back on defense, got beat by Draymond Green on a cut, and all Dame could do was feebly foul before Green had an open dunk. Even with a healthy Batum and Aldridge, I don't know if tonight would have ended much different. The Warriors are legit. 114-99 Blazers.
2:10 - A dunk from Gee has the Blazers close to the double-digit threshold. Losing by less than ten without two key cogs has to be considered at least a moral victory, right? 115-104 Warriors.
0:34 - Are Warriors fans the new Lakers fans? Based on the reaction from that Iggy alley oop, they aren't far off. 122-108 Warriors.
FINAL: This one was pretty much expected. Without Aldridge and Batum, the Blazers were going to have to play their best basketball to have a chance. They put together a great first half, but the Warriors were just too much. That's five losses in a row for the Blazers, and all of the sudden they only have a four-game lead on OKC for the division lead.