The Portland Trail Blazers squandered a big lead Thursday night as the Golden State Warriors staged a second-half rally to win Game 2 of the Western Conference finals 114-111.
Draymond Green scored the decisive basket and, in the final seconds, Andre Iguodala blocked a three-point attempt to avoid going to overtime and complete a 14-3 fourth quarter closing stretch.
“They know how to win, they’re champions," Stephen Curry said on court after the game. “Look at Andre: offensively, it was a rough game, but he makes the biggest play on defense."
“Draymond as well made some timely plays, Looney guarding CJ, everyone stepped up," he added.
The Trail Blazers had led by 17 points at half time, and were ahead by eight points with under seven minutes left in the fourth quarter, but were unable to close out the game and take a valuable road win back to Oregon.
Once again without star player Kevin Durant, who is recovering from a calf strain, the Warriors turned to Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, aka the “Splash Brothers," a moniker the pair have earned thanks to their astounding accuracy from beyond the perimeter.
Curry had 37 points and eight rebounds and assists each, while Thompson added 24.
But the Warriors were particularly impressive on defense, racking up 50 rebounds, nine blocks and 16 turnovers.
Draymond Green was especially dominant, making 10 rebounds and seven assists to go with his 16 points.
“Draymond’s been special all playoffs," Thompson said in his postgame press conference. “His ability to get the rebound and push the ball and make the right decision is incredible. When he goes, we go. He was tremendous tonight."
While Portland will be disappointed not to have taken the win, they will surely take heart from a strong outing in which the fine margins didn’t go their way.
Damian Lillard led the team with 23 points and 10 assists, while CJ McCollum added 22 points.
Curry’s less-famed brother, Seth, was a notable contributor from the Trail Blazers bench, putting up 16 points – including four three-pointers – from just seven attempts. His brother Stephen also had four successful three-pointers from a whopping 14 attempts.
"They’re a shot-making team, they move the ball well. They’re a championship club, so down the stretch you know they’re gonna make those plays, they’re gonna give themselves a chance," Lillard said.
“Their job was to take their home floor; now we have an opportunity to do the same thing," he added.
Game 3 sees the series shift to Oregon.