On Thursday, the Golden State Warriors completed an exhilarating comeback, beating the Portland Trail Blazers 114-111, after trailing by 15 at halftime.
After handling the Blazers somewhat easily in Game 1, winning decisively by 22 points, the Dubs encountered a much-improved Portland team, playing with the intensity one would imagine a team facing the prospect of falling down 2-0 in a seven-game-series to the likes of the Warriors would.
From the beginning, the Blazers were on attack-mode on offense and working much harder to run Golden State off of the three-point line and easy shots. Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, the two star members comprising the Blazer backcourt, looked much better in the first half. The latter, McCollum, came out firing from beyond the arc, knocking down two of his three first-quarter three-point shots en route to an eight-point first quarter. His backcourt mate, Lillard, struggled to find the bottom of the net in the first, though he managed to dish out four assists to his teammates.
The game was kept close throughout the first quarter, with Curry and Thompson doing the bulk of the heavy lifting on the offensive end, scoring 12 and seven points, respectively. However, the second quarter would belong to the Blazers, as they would go on to outscore Golden State 34-21 in the period, at one point expanding their lead to 17 on a Seth Curry 28-foot three-pointer. McCollum kept his hot shooting going (3/5 fg, 8 pts), and Lillard finally got things going from three-point land late in the quarter (3/3 3pt, 10 pts). For his part, the Blazers' Seth Curry (Steph's brother) was a key contributor in building his team's 15-point first half lead, scoring seven points down the stretch and pestering Steph on the defensive end.
Coming out of the locker room, down 15 at the half, Curry and the Warriors needed to have a patented Golden State-style dominant third quarter run. And boy did they. After Portland's Maurice Harkless put his team up by 16, with a pair of free-throws, the Dubs would go on a 17-2 run to pull to within a point of the Blazers 71-70. Sparked by hot shooting from the Splash Brothers, the Warriors actually pulled ahead of Portland by five, at one point, before eventually ending the third in a tie 89-89. Steph finished the third with 11 points, including a pair of three-pointers in the quarter. Klay was on fire, hitting three threes, and coming away with 13 in the period.
The fourth and final quarter would prove to be one for the ages. Golden State, who had worked so hard to get back into the game in the third, now played from behind for much of the remainder of the contest. Led by Seth Curry and Damian Lillard, the Blazers saw their lead extend out to eight, with 4:28 to go in regulation. Seth knocked down a couple of huge three-pointers, totaling three in all and leading Portland with nine fourth-quarter points. However, for the Dubs, "Strength in Numbers"would ultimately carry them through the late stages of the period. Draymond Green, Andre Iguodala, Klay, Steph, and Kevon Looney would be the closing lineup, exhibiting tremendous pressure-defense and making all of the smart basketball plays on offense. When all was said and done, Golden State closed the quarter and the game on a 14-3 run, snatching victory from the jaws of defeat, and sending the series up to Portland, up two games to none.
Game 3 is scheduled for Saturday, May 18th, in Portland, Oregon.