The Golden State defense was particularly destructive in the third period, when the Trail Blazers missed 16 of 22 shots, allowing the Warriors to extend a 55-46 halftime lead to 83-58. It didn't happen Sunday as the Warriors posted a 121-109 victory to open their best-of-seven playoff series. Although Steve Kerr acknowledges that injuries happen during National Basketball Association games, he is still hopeful to have "a healthy line-up" by then. There's also an outside chance that Jusuf Nurkic will be available which would be a major boost for the Blazers who desperately need that interior scoring option.
The Portland Trail Blazers did everything they could during their Game 1 loss to the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.
Following a left-calf strain that occurred in Game 1, the Golden State Warriors deemed it necessary to sit most valuable player and rebounder Kevin Durant from the Game 2.
Past experience - nearly a month's worth of it - of playing without Kevin Durant gave the Golden State Warriors confidence and helped them lock up the No. 1 seed as the 2016-17 regular season waned.
PRESSURE IS ON: An argument could be made it's actually on Golden State.
"For sure, obviously they were right there on the doorstep of doing something historical", Curry said, "and still had an historical season making it to the Final Four and the championship game". "It's twinged", Kerr said. Klay Thompson was 6 of 17 with 16 points and CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard were hardly were the dynamic scoring duo for Portland they'd been combining for 75 points only three days earlier. "We've got to be ready, to be prepared, for their punch", Washington's Otto Porter said of bracing for a desperate Atlanta approach to Game 2. The Warriors pushed the Blazers nearly immediately, knocking them on their heels with a 15-point first-quarter lead.
"We won and I don't care if we won by 2 or 12", Thompson said.
"I wouldn't call it demoralizing", Portland coach Terry Stotts said. Durant sustained the injury in the game, where he finished with 32 points and 10 rebounds. Meanwhile the Blazers are 8-1 ATS in their last nine home games, 11-3 ATS in their last 14 games overall and 7-18-2 ATS in their last 27 Conference Quarterfinals games.
With the 110-81 win, the Warriors go up 2-0 and the question becomes whether they will lose a game as they look towards the second round. But I'm getting better every day.
Kerr hopes to have a healthy lineup for Game 3, though might choose to hold out Durant again given the series lead.