The Golden State Warriors beating the Portland Trail Blazers 122-108 isn’t surprising considering the ability of Stephen Curry recently and especially in this game, but also the injury list on the Blazers’ side.
No Matthews, Aldridge, Batum and Chris Kaman left the home team, sliding hard and fast down the Western conference standings, without a lot of options against the best team in the NBA right. For the first two quarters the Blazers managed to open a lead, but Stephen Curry with 14 points kept the Warriors within a reasonable five point distance at half time.
Then came the second half and everything started going the Warriors’ way. Their defense took control of the game, the Blazers couldn’t get good looks in the paint and were forced to a string of bad contested jumpers and Curry got even better. He finished with 33 points and 10 assists, shooting 13-of-22 from the field and hitting five times from beyond the arc.
Besides Curry, five more Warriors players scored in double figures, including Andre Iguodala off the bench with 21, 16 for Klay Thompson, 14 for Draymond Green (with 11 rebounds), 13 for Harrison Barnes and even a double double for Andrew Bogut, scoring 10 points and grabbing 16 rebounds. The Warriors scored 52 points in the paint, 20 on the fast break and shot 60.2% from the field. Maybe most impressive was their 37 assists, setting a new high for games over 30 assists in a season (26 so far) over the last 20 years.
Curry was bound to play well against the Blazers, with his career average rising to 29 per game when playing in Portland, tied for the most against any opponent on the road in his career. In his showdown with Damian Lillard he came out on top, as Lillard, faced with questions about his fatigue and minutes before and after the game, led the Blazers with 29 points on 9-of-21 from the field. C.J. McCollum scored 23 points off the bench.
The Warriors clinch the division title for the first time since 1976. Obviously, divisions mean nothing and might be a thing of the past very soon, having meaning only in the way of scheduling the season, but still, as the Warriors get closer to the 60-win mark (only two games away), it’s impossible to hide from the fact that this group is special, perhaps on its way to do more unique things in the playoffs.