OAKLAND, Calif. — The Golden State Warriors’ the longest losing streak the franchise has endured since 2013 has finally ended, thanks to a 125-97 home win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Friday. Once again without All-Stars Stephen Curry and Draymond Green, the Warriors relied on brilliant performances from Klay Thompson and Kevin Durant to get the much-needed win.
Durant put up 32 points, eight rebounds and seven assists, while Thompson added 31 points on 12-for-21 shooting. Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 23 points on 9-for-24 shooting.
KD does it all
Durant is one of purest scorers in the history of basketball, but the Warriors have needed much more than scoring from him with Curry and Green out of the lineup — he provided it all on Friday. Not only was KD facilitating the offense and finding open teammates, but he was also incredibly active defensively, making the right rotations while picking up steals and blocks along the way. This was the performance the Warriors had been waiting for from Durant, and it came when the team really needed it.
Klay the aggressor
Normally soft-spoken and even keel, Thompson came out with a particular passion and fire against the Trail Blazers. He was extremely aggressive looking for his shot early (which led to some hilariously contested looks), and he quickly got hot, giving the Warriors an early source of points. After swishing a 3-pointer on which he was fouled in the first quarter, Thompson energetically walked toward the stands, urging the crowd to get louder. It was clear from the jump that Thompson felt the need to assert himself on Friday. He also took over in the third quarter, when he lit up the Blazers for 15 points.
ROARacle is back
It’s been relatively quiet at Oracle Arena over the past few games, but a huge second quarter run brought the life back into one of the loudest arenas in all of sports. The crowd seemed to thrive on not only the heroics from Thompson and Durant, but also the “strength in numbers” style ball movement that the Oakland spectators have grown so accustomed to seeing. It was like somebody had shaken up a soda bottle for the past few games, and on Friday the Warriors finally untwisted the cap. They’ll look to make it two straight wins at Oracle when they welcome the Kings to town on Saturday (8:30 p.m. ET — watch on fuboTV with the NBA League Pass extension).
Dame’s cheering section
Oakland native Damian Lillard always has plenty of fans when he visits his hometown, but Friday’s section was particularly impressive. Located directly behind press row in a luxury box, about a dozen Lillard fans erupted every time the All-NBA guard touched the ball, and erupted in near hysterics every time he scored, even when the Blazers were down big. Oakland may be Warriors ground, but there’s a special section thoroughly devoted to Lillard.
The big question now is, was this a one-game occurrence, or have the Warriors fixed whatever was wrong with them physically, emotionally and spiritually? With home games coming up against the Kings and Magic, Golden State has a chance to rattle off a three-game winning streak before heading out on a rough road trip. But a backslide against the Kings would bring back all the anxiety and frustration they’ve experienced over the past few weeks. We’ll have to see how they play on Saturday in a back-to-back, but the good news is that Curry could be back on the court as soon as Monday.
Source: Read Full Article