NBA Game Preview - Trail Blazers v Warriors

 
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Final 1 2 3 4 Tot
Portland 31 34 24 22 111
Golden State 29 21 39 25 114
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6:00 PM PT7:00 PM MT8:00 PM CT9:00 PM ET1:00 GMT9:00 6:00 PM MST8:00 PM EST5:00 UAE (+1)03:0021:00 ET8:00 PM CT0:00 , May 16, 2019
ORACLE Arena, Oakland, California  Attendance: 19,596

Warriors to keep riding bench in Game 2 vs. Blazers

According to STATS
According to STATS

Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors

  1. The Warriors are 9-1 (.900) all-time against the Trail Blazers in the postseason. That's the second-best record by any team against any opponent in NBA postseason history (minimum 10 games), behind only the Cavaliers' perfect 12-0 record against the Hawks.
  2. Damian Lillard led Portland in scoring in Game 1 with 19 points. That snapped a streak of 62 consecutive games (regular season and postseason) in which the Blazers had at least one player score 20 points, the longest streak for Portland since a 133-game streak from March 3, 1987, to December 11, 1988.
  3. Enes Kanter has notched eight double-digit rebounding games for Portland this postseason. The last Blazers player to have nine or more in a single postseason was Buck Williams in 1990 (11).
  4. Portland had just four turnovers in its Game 7 win over Denver, but then had 21 in its Game 1 loss to the Warriors. In the past 10 years, the only other team to have that big of an increase in turnovers from one game to the next in the playoffs was the Grizzlies, who went from five to 23 (+18) in Games 3 and 4 of their 2017 first-round series against the Spurs.
  5. Golden State has now won Game 1 in each of its last 12 playoff series, the longest such streak in NBA history.
  6. Draymond Green has had at least 10 rebounds and five assists in each of his last six games. That's the second-longest such streak by any NBA player in a single postseason in the last 35 years, behind only Blake Griffin (8 straight in 2015).

OAKLAND, Calif. -- The Golden State Warriors once again plan to take their resurrected "Strength in Numbers" approach up against a team that prides itself in its depth when the defending champs host the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals Thursday night.

Playing without injured Kevin Durant, the top-seeded Warriors got key contributions from several backups, including Quinn Cook, in a 116-94 victory over the Trail Blazers in Game 1 of the best-of-seven series Tuesday night.

The Warriors ranked 28th out of 30 teams in points off the bench during the regular season, and they were outscored by an average of 55.7-29.7 by Los Angeles Clippers backups in the first round. But they responded to Durant's calf injury in the Western semifinals with a greater commitment to the reserves in Game 6 at Houston.

Kevon Looney had 14 points and Shaun Livingston 11 as the Warriors dominated the Rockets 33-17 off the bench in a 118-113, series-clinching win.

Golden State coach Steve Kerr took the same approach in Game 1 against Portland, which prevailed over Denver in its Western semifinal in large part because of a 34.1-25.1 average advantage in bench points.

That confidence paid dividends in the series opener, with all eight Warriors backups who participated recording a positive plus/minus as Golden State's reserves outscored their Portland counterparts 36-28.

"This series feels like it's a series where we can play more people," Kerr explained after the win. "It's a different matchup, and I think that what you saw (Tuesday) is what we'd like to get to every night if we can, in terms of playing 10, 11 guys."

Kerr said he thought Game 1 was won in the first five minutes of the fourth quarter, after Portland had closed within 79-73.

That's when a unit of Klay Thompson and four reserves -- Cook, Livingston, Jonas Jerebko and Jordan Bell -- opened a double-digit advantage over a group of mostly Trail Blazers backups, with Thompson and Cook each contributing a pair of 3-pointers to the run.

While the Warriors, who will again be without Durant in Game 2, hope for more of the same, Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts walked away from Game 1 shaking his head over his team's performance.

Just two days removed from a tense Game 7 win at Denver, the Trail Blazers shot poorly (36.1 percent), committed an inordinate number of turnovers (21) and struggled to defend Stephen Curry on the perimeter (9-for-15 on 3-pointers).

While Stotts is confident his club can remedy all three of those issues, standout guard Damian Lillard noted a fourth shortcoming -- the combined 36 points he (19) and backcourt sidekick CJ McCollum (17) contributed on 11-for-31 shooting, including 3-for-10 on 3-pointers.

Lillard also had seven of his team's 21 turnovers.

"You can't allow that," he said of the turnovers, which the Warriors converted into 31 points. "If you allow that against this team, especially on the road, you're going to have a slim chance to win.

"We turn the ball over as much as we did, as much as I did, with how much I had the ball in my hands, you know, not valuing it enough, it's going to hurt you."

--By Dave Del Grande, Field Level Media

Updated May 15, 2019

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