Blazers looking for answers after another lopsided loss

By

Published:

 

OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry scored 19 points on an off night, JaVale McGee sparked Golden State off the bench with 15 points, and the short-handed Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-81 in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series Wednesday night without injured leading scorer Kevin Durant.

McGee shined on a night none of the usual stars found their consistent shooting strokes. The backup big man made all seven of his field-goal attempts and delivered several more of his signature alley-oop dunks as Durant watched with a strained left calf he hurt in the opener Sunday.

Draymond Green had another fantastic all-around game, getting 12 rebounds, 10 assists, six points and three more blocked shots after swatting five in Sunday’s win.

Curry went 6 for 18 and also had six assists and six rebounds. 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.

Again, Golden State did it on defense — holding the Blazers to 12 points in the third. And now the Warriors own a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series as it shifts to Portland for Saturday’s Game 3, just as Steve Kerr’s group did going ahead on the Blazers in last year’s Western Conference semifinal won in five games.

Maurice Harkless scored all of his 15 points in the first half and the Blazers gave up seven straight points to start the third as the Warriors were off and running. Portland played again without center Jusuf Nurkic, and missed him. The 7-footer still isn’t 100 percent from a nondisplaced fracture in his right leg that sidelined him for the final seven regular-season games.

McCollum, who shot 16 for 28 with four 3-pointers to score 41 in the 121-109 Game 1 loss, scored 11 points on 4-for-17 shooting. Lillard was 5 for 17 and held to 12 points.

Coach Terry Stotts called on his team to be more balanced to have a chance against top-seeded Golden State, which finished with the NBA’s best record for a third straight season.

Instead, the Warriors once more showed their remarkable balance despite also missing Shaun Livingston from Sunday’s win.