The Golden State Warriors continue to look like a team that isn’t going very far no matter how many points Stephen Curry scores while the Portland Trail Blazers have been hit with a jolt of lightning named LaMarcus Aldridge, leading them to a 119-117 win and feeling a lot more confident heading into the playoffs.
So Curry scored 47 points, but that isn’t what makes the Warriors play their best. Andre Iguodala was the one who had the final shot for the Warriors in an attempt to win the game in overtime, but his shot was way off the mark. It was actually a decent performance from Iguodala, scoring 15 points on 7-of-10 from the field, but getting almost nothing from their big-man duo of Andrew Bogut and David Lee while the bench got outplayed during its minutes proved to be crucial in a game between two teams not keen on defending.
The Blazers had their entire lineup in double figures as usual, but Mo Williams proved to be the X-Factor with 18 points off the bench, shooting 8-of-10 from the field. LaMarcus Aldridge led the way scoring 26 points, including a two-point jumper from the top of the key with 35 seconds left in overtime to give the Blazers a 118-117 lead which they eventually managed to keep to claim their 8th win in nine games since Aldridge has come back from his injury.
Wesley Matthews had 24 points, Nicolas Batum continued showing he’s turned into the quite the rebounder with 18 points and 12 rebounds. Robin Lopez finished with 16 points and Damian Lillard was in “low key” mode with 13 points, shooting only 3-of-13 from the field. One of the best things about Aldridge coming back is that Lillard feels less pressure to shoot himself out of trouble, but it doesn’t mean he completely neglects the reckless part of his game.
The Warriors had their dynamic duo in full force, combining to score 72 points and hitting 13 three-pointers. Enough? Not really, and it was just another demonstration of how the Warriors won’t win anything or even get through the first round without their defense and frontcourt playing a bit more like their better chunks of the season. The Blazers have given up on trying to become a defensive team, not to mention a competent one on that side of the ball, but with Aldridge they have the confidence that their offense can make up for it, no matter against who an especially at home.
The Blazers need some outside help in order to finish fourth in the West and usurp the home court advantage the Rockets are right now heading into when the two teams meet for the best of seven series. They did however make sure the Warriors won’t finish higher than sixth in the Western conference, which at the moment means playing against the Los Angeles Clippers in the first round of the postseason.