Durant won't play for Warriors against Trail Blazers in game two
Confidence is contagious. Defense is contagious. Now they might have to do so again on the playoff stage. "It's twinged", coach Steve Kerr said before the game. "It's something that's kind of out of my control right now, just try to get better". Big man David West had eight points, making Portland pay for going small, and he also had one ideal pass to create a layup for guard Ian Clark. This is due to an unfortunate strain in Durant's left calf. Houston had balance, they had a team effort on both ends. McCollum and Lillard are the key players of Blazers and guiding for their win over Warriors on recent games and the pair expecting to do more in this Game 2. It's the expectation; the logical conclusion of months and years of work that allow the Warriors to make it all look so effortless.
McGee, who also provided a lift in Game 1, played the best 13 minutes of his professional life. Durant received treatment Tuesday after the team took Monday off from formal workouts. Kevin Durant wasn't on the court at all, nor Shaun Livingston.
Harden finished with 35 points and eight assists and was a ideal 18 for 18 from the free-throw line. They kept as close as a starched shirt to CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard.
The Blazers were plagued with turnovers and poor shooting in the second half. Kevin Durant is questionable for Wednesday night's Game 2 against the Portland Trail Blazers.
The Warriors just have too much talent.
"We wanted to switch it a little bit more than we did", Blazers coach Terry Stotts told reporters when asked about defending lobs to McGee. Not only was McGee on point with his finishes, but the nine-year veteran was a timely, disruptive defender on the other end. Also, Allen Crabbe and CJ McCollum are out.
"There's really no reason that I can see right now that would draw me elsewhere".
A exhausted Westbrook just kept jacking up shots, many of them bad ones, and he shot 4-of-18 for the quarter, including 1-of-7 from three.
With 3:21 left in the second quarter and the Warriors ahead 43-42, the momentum was quickly shifting. McGee, for example, doesn't just bring energy to the floor, he brings an incentive for the Warriors to be patient on offense. Barnes figures to get some as well once he's back, but that might not be for another couple games. The sharpness from the second quarter carried over into the third, when the Warriors finally buried the Blazers for good in a 28-12 sustained drubbing.
The terrifying message for the rest of the National Basketball Association - apart from watching the Warriors' reserves pick apart a formidable foe - is how adaptive the Warriors were between games 1 and 2. It's tough enough to beat the Warriors when they have just a scouting report. When they can adjust based on the trial-and-error of sustained exposure over the course of a series, they can refine their attack even more. Dame said the Blazers would win in six games.
Ultimately, we may be 84 games into the 2016-17 season, but the Warriors are still improving. Rookie swingman Patrick McCaw, who played all of 23 seconds in the series opener, stepped into the starting lineup. They didn't want to risk losing him for a long stretch of the playoffs.
Green, David West and JaVale McGee made things challenging most of the afternoon for the Blazers. He's disciplined himself into a new and extremely valuable player. Green joked post-game that he never would have expected Klay to make that type of block.
This is the Best of Seven formats in which Warriors lead the series by 1-0. But lessons do. The Warriors - like some liquid-metal Terminator - have shown the ability to reshape their form for whatever challenge they face.