----- Stephen Curry scores a game-high 36 points as the Golden State Warriors take Game one of the Western Conference Finals 116-94 Tuesday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California.
The Splash Brothers put on a show Tuesday night at Oracle Arena.
Steph Currry and Klay Thompson outscored Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum 62-36 as the Golden State Warriors took game one of the Western Conference Finals 116-94 Tuesday night at Oracle Arena to take a 1-0 series lead.
Curry matched a playoff career-high connecting on nine three-pointers en route to a game-high 36 points. He made 12 of his 23 shots including 9-for-15 from beyond the arc. The Warriors dominated the three-point line making 17-of-33 from distance while Portland struggled making just 7-of-28. Golden State was +30 from three-point range.
Thompson scored 26 points while providing great defense on Lillard or McCollum. He finished the game strong scoring 12 points in the fourth quarter as the Warriors closed the game on a 19-6 run.
The biggest issue for the Blazers came in their inability to cover the Warriors pick and roll. Portland continued to drop their bigs when Curry would come off screens resulting in a number of wide open shots. Open looks from three-point range are layups for arguably the best shooter in NBA-history.
“Well, to be honest, other than the fourth quarter, the game defensively was manageable,” Portland Coach Terry Stotts said. “They got loose in the fourth quarter. But going into the fourth quarter down six, we were finding ways to hang in on a night when we were struggling offensively. Certainly they got loose. It’s a combination of how well they move without the ball and pick and rolls.”
Lillard was very honest following the game when giving his assessment of the team's poor execution with their pick and roll defense.
“Yeah, that was very poor execution, you know, defensively, on our part,” Damian Lillard said. “Just having our bigs back that far, understanding the team we’re playing against, they are not going to shoot mid-range jumpers and attack the rim.
“If they see an opportunity to shoot a three, they are going to take it. They shoot it at a high clip. We’ve got to bring our guys up and run them off the line, and tonight, we were, you know, they were setting solid screens and coming off shooting practice shots. You know, that’s the last thing we need if we want to have any chance to beat this team.”
Lillard led Portland with 19 points but made just 4-of-12 from the field while McCollum scored just 17 points on 7-of-19 shooting.
In addition to the poor shooting, the Blazers had too many unforced errors. Portland committed a whopping 21 turnovers leading to 31 points for the Warriors. The mistakes contributed to the Warriors having a 17-2 edge in fast-break points.
Up Next- Game two will be Thursday night at Oracle Arena in Oakland, California. The scheduled tip off time is 6:00 PM.
Chad's Take- The Blazers defense Curry and Thompson was a disaster. Coach Stotts must start blitzing the pick and roll and get aggressive. Blitz, hedge, trap, and don't be afraid to use a double team. But continuing to play drop coverage with their bigs will get them killed in this series. If Kanter is unable to get it done defensively, go small and play Collins.