Warriors take 2-0 series lead on Blazers, win without Durant

Rufina Vignone
Aprile 21, 2017

The Warriors defense, however, stepped up in the fourth quarter as Golden State pulled away for a 121-109 victory to open the first-round playoff series.

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) - JaVale McGee has made a name for himself catching lob passes and reliably slamming them home to the pure delight of his teammates, and oh did those matter for the short-handed Golden State Warriors as they moved one win closer to another National Basketball Association championship.

Meanwhile, the Blazers are still without centre Jusuf Nurkic, who sat out of Sunday's series opener with a fractured right leg. He also appeared in 72 regular season games, ultimately piloting the club to the Western Conference finals against the team he now plays for.

This seemed to be an inevitability once reports surfaced on Tuesday that Durant suffered a strained calf in Golden State's Game 1 win over Portland over the weeekend.

While the Warriors struggled initially with Durant sidelined, they also produced a 14-game winning streak and locked up the NBA's best record for a third straight year.

"I miss being out there with them and hopefully I'm out there the next game. It's twinged", Kerr said. "[The memes] are hilarious, I laughed so hard", she said.

"He's bummed out, he wants to play, for sure, but he knows that we've got to do the wise thing, we've got to do the smart thing long term". "A lot of great teams really know how to turn up the screws in the third quarter and take a nine-point lead and get it to 15 or whatever". Trail Blazers PG Damian Lillard was held to fewer than 25 points for the first time in his last eight playoff games.

Westbrook delivered a triple-double of 51 points, 13 assists and 10 rebounds but couldn't get the ball to drop when it counted.

Portland (mainly Lillard and McCollum) played no less than stellar the first three quarters of Sunday's game.

With the 110-81 win, the Warriors go up 2-0 and the question becomes whether they will lose a game as they look towards the second round. It was a team-wide effort, starting with the bigs blitzing pick-and-rolls, shutting off the air space for Lillard and McCollum, who finished a combined 9-of-34 shooting for only 23 points after dropping 75 points on 28-of-54 combined in Game 1.

Guard Shaun Livingston also is out with a sprained right index finger and bruised hand, while forward Matt Barnes is still working back from a sprained right ankle and foot.

At halftime, TNT analyst Charles Barkley - commonly a Warriors pessimist - predicted a second-half shootout because "neither of these teams are good defensively". But I'm getting better every day. The two teams meet again for game 3 in Portland, Oregon on Saturday, April 22 at the Moda Center.

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