Curry, Thompson bury Blazers, Warriors take series lead
OAKLAND, Calif. – – Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson dominated their highly anticipated matchup with Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, combining for 12 3-pointers and 62 points in the Golden State Warriors’ 116-94 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals Tuesday night.
Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is scheduled for Thursday night, also on top-seeded Golden State’s home court.
Curry finished with a game-high 36 points and Thompson added 26 for the Warriors, who won a second consecutive game without star forward Kevin Durant, out due to a bruised right calf.
Curry shot 9-for-15 on 3-point attempts, Thompson went 3-for-9 from beyond the arc. Backup Quinn Cook mixed in two timely treys to quell the Trail Blazers’ last threat, pushing Golden State a game up on an opponent it dominated 4-1 and 4-0 in the 2016 and 2017 playoffs, respectively.
Lillard shot just 4-for-12 en route to a team-high 19 points. McCollum added 17 points for the Trail Blazers, who were facing a fresh team that had enjoyed three days off after eliminating the Houston Rockets in Game 6 on the road Friday night.
The Warriors used a 13-5 burst to open the second half to extend a nine-point halftime advantage to 67-50. Curry had three 3-pointers in the run.
But Portland, which flew straight to Oakland after winning a decisive Game 7 at Denver on Sunday, refused to quit. Rodney Hood and Seth Curry drilled 3-pointers in an 11-4 run that ended the period and gave the Trail Blazers hope at 77-71 entering the fourth.
The Warriors’ lead was just 79-73 before Cook hit his two 3-pointers, helping Golden State go back up by 14 with 7:31 to go, and the 3-point discrepancy proved too much for the Trail Blazers to overcome.
Draymond Green complemented Curry and Thompson with a team-high 10 rebounds to go with 12 points for the Warriors, who shot 50 percent from the field and 51.5 percent (17-for-33) on 3-pointers.
The Warriors outscored the Trail Blazers 51-21 on 3-pointers.
Hood and Maurice Harkless had 17 points apiece, and Enes Kanter a game-high 16 rebounds with 10 points for the Trail Blazers, who were limited to 36.1 percent shooting overall and 25 percent (7-for-28) on treys.
After having split the season series 2-2, the teams played on mostly even terms for the first 16 minutes, after which the Warriors managed just a two-point lead.
Consecutive hoops by reserve Jonas Jerebko, one a 3-pointer, finally got the Warriors rolling, before Curry took over. He poured in 11 points in the final 5:29 of the half, helping Golden State take a 54-45 lead into the intermission.
Curry had 19 of his 36 points in the half.