Posted on May 17, 2019, by Travis Pulver
The Portland Trail Blazers needed to play a lot better if they were going to pull off the upset and win Game Two Thursday night. For much of the game, it looked like they just might pull it off. They even led by 15 at the half. But then it happened.
Golden State exploded in the third quarter to take control of the game and then held on in the fourth to secure the win, 114-111.
The Trail Blazers got off to a much better start in Game Two and managed to take an early lead, 31-29, after the first quarter. In the second quarter, Portland remained in control of the game as the Warriors seemed to lack their usual intensity and focus on offense.
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With the help of ten turnovers by the Warriors (resulting in 18 points for Portland), the Trail Blazers took a 15-point lead into halftime, 65-50. But with the Warriors, no halftime lead is ever truly safe—and the proved that once again once the third quarter got underway.
After the two teams exchanged a couple of early baskets, the Warriors went on a 13-0 to cut the deficit from 16-points (69-53) down to three (69-66) with more than seven minutes left to go in the quarter. Golden State got out to a five-point lead late in the quarter but heading into the fourth the score was tied 89-89.
While it didn’t look good for the Trail Blazers in the third, they were able to regain control of the game in the fourth. With 4:28 to play, they led by eight, 108-100.
However, then a 10-0 run put the Warriors back in front, 110-108, with 2:01 to play. Seth Curry hit a 29-footer about a minute later to put Portland back in front, 111-110. But Kevon Looney followed with a dunk to retake the lead for the Warriors, 112-111.
Moments later, Draymond Green gave the Warriors a three-point advantage after hitting a layup with 12.3 seconds left—which was plenty of time for Portland to make a desperation three-pointer. But it was blocked by Andre Iguodala to preserve the win.
“Our experience really paid off for us tonight having a bunch of guys who just won’t quit,” Draymond Green said after the game, via ESPN.
The Warriors were led by Steph Curry who had 37 points despite having an off night from behind the arc (4-14); he was 11-11 from the free throw line. Klay Thompson was a little off with his shot (8-22 from the floor but 4-8 from three-point range) but still chipped in 24 points.
Portland’s dynamic duo of C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard were a little more productive than they were in Game One with 45 points between them. But they are still missing way too many shots (15-39; 8-20 from three-point range).
“We did play a much better game at both ends of the floor tonight. We’ve got to take that into Game 3,” Portland head coach Terry Stotts said after the game via ESPN. “It is a lost opportunity, no question. We had a chance to get one here on the road.”
The Trail Blazers will need their two stars to be a little more accurate when the series heads to Portland for Game Three Saturday night. But with Kevin Durant now expected to be out for the entire series, the Trail Blazers still have a shot—but they have to win both games in Portland.