On Monday night, the Golden State Warriors were sensational in their dominant victory over the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals. Behind another stellar shooting performance from two-time MVP Stephen Curry, the Dubs handled the Blazers 116-94.
Starting with Curry's night, the man was firing on all cylinders, knocking down nine of his 15 three-point attempts and overall shooting 12-for-23 from the floor. All en route to a game-high 36-point performance, adding six rebounds and seven assists, as well.
Curry's fellow Splash Brother, Klay Thompson, was the other main contributor, finishing with 26 points on 10-for-24 shooting, hitting three of his nine attempts from beyond the arc. What was most notable, however, for Thompson, was his lock-down defense. In fact, the Warrior defense was stifling all night, holding All-Star guard Damian Lillard to 19 points on 4-for-12 shooting. His fellow backcourt mate, C.J. McCollum, managed just 17 points on 7-for-19 from the floor. Klay, alone, drawing the assignment of covering both of Portland's dynamic guards throughout the game, had three steals and two blocks.
One couldn't help but notice how different the defensive look was from the Portland Trail Blazers, versus that of what was thrown at Golden State throughout the Houston Rockets series. Houston was very physical with both Steph and Klay, harassing them constantly on their end of the court, as most teams usually attempt to do with the talented shooters. However, the Blazers simply did not employ this strategy, often losing them through multiple Warrior screens, leading to remarkably open looks — which Curry and Thompson gladly accepted and knocked down shot after shot.
The overall defensive effort was an all-around team effort, starting with Klay and Draymond Green, both of whom are always drawing tough assignments and rising to the occasion. Andre Iguodala, of course, brought his usual solid defensive play, while Curry and reserve Kevon Looney rounded out the notable job Golden State did in holding the Blazers under 100 points.
Golden State will look to go up 2-0, Thursday night, in Game 2 at Oracle Arena.