Don't count out Klay Thompson and Draymond Green's Golden State Warriors. The Warriors fought back from 17 down in the first half and 11 in the fourth quarter to beat the Portland Trail Blazers, 110-99, in Game 2 and take a 2-0 series lead despite missing MVP Stephen Curry for both games.
Thompson had 27 points, 20 of which came in the second half, and Draymond Green had 17 points, 14 rebounds and seven assists as the Warriors stole a game the Blazers had seemingly locked up.
Damian Lillard had ice running through his veins in the third quarter, putting up 17 of his 25 points in the frame, but it wasn't enough to steal a win in Oakland. The Blazers face a must-win Game 3 in Portland on Saturday.
The Blazers came out firing from the opening tip, jumping out to a 34-21 lead after the first quarter. The lead grew to 17 midway through the second, but the Warriors, even without Curry, wouldn't die. They pulled to within three points in the second quarter and trailed 59-51 at half.
The Warriors brought their best to start the third, and slowly chipped away at the lead on multiple occasions, but Lillard and C.J. McCollum seemed to always have an answer. The Blazers took an 87-76 lead heading into the fourth thanks to a buzzer-beater at the horn.
The Warriors weren't going to go out without a fight, however. After falling behind by nine with nine minutes left, the Warriors went on a 9-0 run to even things up at 91 with 6:43 to play. Then they charged past the Blazers, taking a 104-95 lead with less than two minutes to play thanks to some huge plays by Green. They held on for the comeback win by outscoring the Blazers 34-12 in the fourth quarter.
Here are three things we learned:
Mo Harkless was almost the answer to Klay Thompson
The Blazers put C.J. McCollum on Thompson for much of Game 1, and Thompson had a field day. He was 14-of-28 from the field and 7-of-14 from deep on his way to 37 points. Thompson couldn't find the bottom of the net with Harkless shadowing him Game 2, but only for a half. Thompson found his shot in the fourth quarter to spark the Warriors' run. Harkless did as well as he could, but eventually Thompson broke free as he often does.
Thompson ended the night shooting 7-of-20 from the field and 5-of-14 from deep. It wasn't quite the performance of Game 1, but he came up big when the Warriors needed him most.
Damian Lillard is a bad, bad man, but it's not enough
Curry may not be on the court, but Lillard looked a lot like the MVP of the league. Every time the Warriors made a run to make it close, Lillard had the answer -- until the fourth quarter, that is. Lillard had 30 in the Game 1 loss, but was only 8-of-26 from the field, with many of those buckets coming while the outcome was already decided. He mattered more in Game 2. He was 8-of-20 from the field and 6-of-11 from deep.
If the Blazers are going to pull off this upset, Lillard might have to play like this for four quarters every game. Instead, he had zero points in the final frame Tuesday, and it's a big reason the Blazers couldn't pull off the upset.
The Warriors do need Stephen Curry, but should they bother?
This Blazers team isn't a pushover, and it has the tools to beat this Warriors team (remember that regular season shellacking?) The long rest between Games 2 and 3 -- four days -- is a huge boost to this Warriors team. Golden State has proven it can win without Curry, now it has to decide whether he should rest or come back to the court for some reps. Either way, pulling off a win in Game 2 put the Warriors in a much better place when it comes to Curry's recovery.
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