In a game between two teams with players that love focusing on shooting from beyond the arc, it was Stephen Curry, slightly expected, that stood head and shoulders above the rest, leading the Golden State Warriors to 103-88 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.
Curry has proved this season that he’s a lot more than just a long-range phenom shooter, but that’s still his bread and butter. He scored 38 points on 13-of-23 from the field (5-of-8 from three), adding 8 assists, but it was the Warriors’ defense and the Blazers horrendous shooting that made it such a resounding win, keeping the Blazers on a season low of 88 points, including their worst second half of the season with only 34 points.
Both teams didn’t shoot that well – the Blazers were extremely awful on 33.7% from the field, but the Warriors weren’t exactly out of this world on 41%. However, unlike in previous games, they only turned the ball over nine times (compared to 14 by the Blazers), helping them get over the fact that aside from Curry, it wasn’t a very good shooting game for anyone.
The can be said especially for David Lee (6-of-16 from the field) and Klay Thompson, who refused to go in a different direction despite his 6-of-21 from the field. Great shooters have short memories, that’s true, but some games you have to admit it’s simply not your night.
We can score the ball, but it stinks to come in the locker room and you see everybody had big nights, we just isolate the offensive end but we end up losing and it’s all for nothing. Games like this when you get a win and figure out how to close it out and get stops, it makes what we can do as a team on the offensive end that much more special.
One of the keys was an improved performance from Andre Iguodala who has been struggling since coming back from his injury. He scored 12 points, adding 10 rebounds and 5 assists in the kind of all-around performance the Warriors enjoyed quite a lot from him before the injury that took him off the courts for over a month.
For the Blazers, LaMarcus Aldridge was simply off his game with only 2-of-14 from the field, finishing with a sad double double of 10 points and 11 rebounds. Wesley Matthews led the team with 21 points, but just like the rest of the group, he was off target for most of the night. Robin Lopez was the only starting player with more than 50% from the field.
That was a rough game. The first half both teams played pretty well, but the second half we didn’t have much going at the offensive end. Golden State did a nice job with its defense. It was just one of those nights where we just didn’t have enough at the offensive end.
Curry has one goal accomplished this season – making the All-Star game and as a starter. The next is to take the Warriors into the next level, which means not just being a playoff team no one is scared of, but challenging the top of the West and coming closer to making the conference finals.