-----The Golden State Warriors opened the fourth quarter on a 15-2 run as they take game one from the Portland Trail Blazers 121-109 to take a 1-0 series lead in the first round of the Western Conference Playoffs.
The Trail Blazers competed like a champion today, but unlike the Warriors they didn't close like a champion. The game was tied at 88-88 entering the fourth quarter, but the Warriors opened the final 12 minutes on a 15-2 run to take game one from the Blazers 121-109.
The Blazers shot just 7-for-24 from the field in the fourth while committing six turnovers as the Warriors won the quarter 33-21.
Much like last year's meeting in the playoffs when Portland led for 56.1% of the five-game series, today's game featured 22 lead changes and 15 ties.
The Blazers got a playoff career-high 41 points from CJ McCollum and 34 points from Damian Lillard, but the rest of the team combined for just 34 points on 12-for-39 shooting. McCollum was sensational in the first half scoring 27 points on 11-for-15 shooting.
The Warriors were led by Kevin Durant, Draymond Green, and Steph Curry. Green energized the crowd with 19 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists, three steals, and five blocks. Green was huge in the fourth with a big three-pointer and recorded three of his five blocks. Durant finished with 32 points and 10 rebounds while Curry scored 29.
It was announced before the game that Jusuf Nurkic would remain inactive with a leg fracture, but hope remains that Nurkic will be able to make his return at some point during the series. Noah Vonleh got the start at center in place of Nurkic with Evan Turner playing small forward and Mauric Harkless sliding over to power forward.
Both teams will now get two days to rest with Game two scheduled for Wednesday night at Oracle Arena with a start time of 7:30 PM.
Chad's Take- Lillard and McCollum combine for 75 points and the Warriors still won the game by 12 points. This is a good example of the talent level the Warriors have on their roster compared to the Blazers and everyone else in the NBA. With or without Jusuf Nurkic, the Blazers must find somebody not named Dame or CJ to make shots. Aminu and Crabbe were both nowhere to be found in game one. Aminu was a turnover machine while going scoreless, and Crabbe needs to show some aggressiveness by looking for his shot in game two. His three-point shooting is critical for the Blazers especially if Nurkic is not on the floor. If Aminu, Crabbe, and Maurice Harkless can take advantage of their opportunities it will take pressure off of Lillard and McCollum and force Draymond Green to be honest on the defensive end by focusing on his man instead of lurking near the basket. Green might be annoying, but the guy is one of the best two-way players in the league. His dominance in the paint on defense was the big difference Sunday. When Green is going off, it energizes the crowd and his teammates.