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NBA Conf. finals: Curry, Thompson bury Blazers

Unstoppable: Stephen Curry dominated game one of the Western Conference Finals, hitting nine three-pointers in scoring 36 points.

Unstoppable: Stephen Curry dominated game one of the Western Conference Finals, hitting nine three-pointers in scoring 36 points.  

Warriors delight home fans with a thumping win in the opening game

Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson dominated their highly anticipated match-up with Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, combining for 12 3-pointers and 62 points in Golden State Warriors’ 116-94 victory over Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals at the Oracle Arena on Tuesday night.

Curry finished with a game-high 36 points and Thompson added 26 for the Warriors, which won a second consecutive game without star forward Kevin Durant, out with a bruised right calf.

Curry shot 9-for-15 on 3-pointers, Thompson went 3-for-9 from beyond the arc and backup Quinn Cook mixed in two timely treys to quell the Trail Blazers’ last threat, pushing Golden State a game up on an opponent it dominated 4-1 and 4-0 in the 2016 and 2017 playoffs.

Lillard shot just 4-for-12 en route to a team-high 19 points, while McCollum added 17 for the Trail Blazers.

Scoring burst

The Warriors used a 13-5 burst to open the second half to extend a nine-point half-time advantage to 67-50. Curry had three 3-pointers in the run.

But Portland, which flew straight to Oakland after winning a decisive Game 7 at Denver on Sunday, refused to quit. Rodney Hood and Seth Curry drilled 3-pointers in an 11-4 run that ended the period and gave Trail Blazers hope at 77-71 entering the fourth.

The Warriors’ lead was just 79-73 before Cook hit his two 3-pointers, helping Golden State go back up by 14, and the 3-point discrepancy proved too much for Trail Blazers to overcome.

Draymond Green complemented Curry and Thompson with a team-high 10 rebounds to go with 12 points for the Warriors, who shot 50% from the field and 51.5% (17-for-33) on 3-pointers. The Warriors outscored Trail Blazers 51-21 on 3-pointers.

Hood and Maurice Harkless had 17 points apiece and Enes Kanter a game-high 16 rebounds with 10 points for Trail Blazers, who were limited to 36.1% shooting overall and 25% (7-for-28) on treys.

After having split the season series 2-2, the teams played on mostly even terms for the first 16 minutes, during which the Warriors managed just a two-point lead.

Consecutive hoops by reserve Jonas Jerebko, one a 3-pointer, finally got the Warriors rolling, before Curry took over. He poured in 11 points in the final 5:29 of the half, helping Golden State take a 54-45 lead into the intermission. Curry had 19 of his 36 points in the half.

Game 2 in the best-of-seven series is scheduled for Thursday, also on top-seeded Golden State’s home court.

The result: Western Conference Finals: Golden State Warriors 116 (Stephen Curry 36, Thompson 26, Green 12) bt Portland Trail Blazers 94 (Lillard 19, McCollum 17, Hood 17). Golden State lead series 1-0.

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Printable version | Feb 23, 2020 2:23:17 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sport/other-sports/nba-conf-finals-curry-thompson-bury-blazers/article27141103.ece

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