San Francisco – Two of the best point guards in the league faced off tonight for the first time this season. Both Damian Lillard and Stephen Curry made some circus shots, but it was Lillard and his Portland Tail Blazers that put on an offensive clinic. The Trail Blazers spoiled the Warriors home opener by beating them 123-98.
Portland had a dominant first quarter hitting five three-point shots from the arc early. CJ McCollum finished with 28 points and had 16 in the first quarter. The Trail Blazers jumped out to an early 36-21 lead hitting 10-of-15 from long range, while Golden State struggled to find their offensive rhythm.
Eric Paschall who finished with 13 points went on a 7-0 run to cut the lead down from 20 to 10 points in the second quarter. But the second unit continued to struggle offensively. They got second chance opportunities but missed easy shots. The one thing that was missing in action for the Warriors was their defense.
“Portland was coming off a blowout loss and we were coming back from our long trip,” said Golden State head coach Steve Kerr. “The start of the game was very disappointing. We just didn’t have much energy and they came out smoking hot, they were making everything. I didn’t like our overall engagement or our mentality. Our first shot challenge came at the 10:38 mark in the second quarter. They played a great game and we played a very poor game.”
Curry went 4-for-12 from the three-point line, a place he usually dominates. He had 26 points, eight rebounds and five assists. The Trail Blazers did a good job of keeping him off the board early. Down by 20 points most of the game, the Warriors did cut the lead down to 10 with 1:19 left in the first half.
But when you leave Carmelo Anthony open, he scores. Anthony came off the bench and added 15 points. He passed Tim Duncan for 14th on NBA’s all-time scoring list after he scored his 26,498th NBA point late in the fourth. Portland collectively had an outstanding night going 20-of-43 from the three-point line.
“I’m just happy to continue to do what I love to do and be out here still doing it at this stage of my career, at this age,” Anthony said. “For me to surpass Tim Duncan, who we all know how great of a player he was and what he did for this game, I’m still going and I’m still enjoying it.”
Golden State didn’t give up in the second half but the hole they dug was too deep for a comeback. Draymond Green made his season debut after missing time with a right foot injury. Green also missed training camp because he tested positive for the coronavirus. He finished with four rebounds four assists and four fouls over 18 minutes.
“Draymond looks like he’s getting his wind,” said Kerr. “He looks like a guy who missed training camp. It’s just where he is physically.”
Video by Sports Fan Rap:
Damian Lillard talks about how they stopped Stephen Curry.
Stephen Curry talks about the loss and their offensive woes.
Photo by Warriors/Twitter