The 27 points of the duo Klay Thompson – Jordan Poole during the first eight minutes immediately set the tone for the Warriors who welcome their opponents with a scathing 29-12! The Blazers head out of the water with a little skill but Ty Jerome ends the first quarter with a shot from midfield at the buzzer (41-25).
Portland took advantage of three questionable decisions from Jordan Poole and the awakening of Damian Lillard to start the second quarter with a 10-0 (41-35). A time-out from Steve Kerr puts the Warriors upright and the gap to +14 (54-40). Five consecutive losses of balls from Golden State, including three for Poole, allow Lillard to end the half on a 9-0 to restart the match (60-56).
Despite the exit of Anfernee Simons through injury, the Blazers plant 8 of their first 11 attempts, punctuated by a tap and a winning shot from Shaedon Sharpe to take a six-point lead (75-69). The Warriors cling but possession after possession the first step of Damian Lillard takes them speed. Behind their leader, the Blazers score 40 points in the third period and drive the point home (96-88).
Draymond Green then increases his intensity to wake up his team but the return of Simons allows Lillard to breathe and the Blazers to maintain their lead (110-102). Golden State, however, hardens the game. As against Utah, Draymond Green puts the lid on the circle while Lillard, tired, flinches. The Blazers remain 4 minutes without scoring and the Poole – Kuminga – Thompson trio inflicts a 12-0 on them to take the lead with 90 seconds to play (114-110). Portland will not recover!
WHAT YOU MUST REMEMBER
– The fireworks of Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole. On this rainy Friday in San Francisco, Klay Thompson and Jordan Poole brought down the rain in a first quarter that they finished 5/9 from 3-pointers, and 12/16 on shots! Aggressive and on pace, both players capitalized on the largesse of the league’s 22nd defense to score 29 of the Warriors’ 41 points and put their team into orbit.
– Damian Lillard takes control of the match. Discreet in the first quarter, Damian Lillard reversed the trend in the second period by attacking the circle relentlessly. Di Vincenzo, Thompson, and Kuminga were helpless against his first step and the entire Warriors defense was thrown off balance. Forced to rotate too quickly, the Golden State defense gave easy baskets, offensive rebounds (15 for 17 points) and multiplied the faults, to collect 71 points in the second and third quarters including 25 for Lillard.
– A decisive 18-4 in the last six minutes. Jordan Poole had just missed a 3-point shot wide open to bring the Warriors to -2, Anfernee Simons in the same situation hit him on the mark to put the Blazers at +8 with six minutes to play. The game was looming over the Blazers and yet the Warriors managed to turn the tide. Thanks to an intractable Draymond Green in the second curtain and a sudden suffocating defense from DiVincenzo and Kuminga on Lillard and Simons, the Blazers have missed 7 of their last 9 attempts and lost 4 balls.
✅ Jordan Poole. The Warriors point guard was impressive with 41 points at 14/23 on shots, while delivering 6 assists and taking 5 rebounds. However, he lost 7 of Golden State’s 13 balls, including 6 in the first half that kept the Blazers in the game.
✅ Klay Thompson. The “Splash Brother” scored 31 points at 50% on shots, including 7/15 from 3-pointers. He struggled against Damian Lillard but raised his head in the money time.
✅ Draymond Green-Donte DiVincenzo-Jonathan Kuminga. If Green led the Warriors defense awakening late in the game, he couldn’t have done it without his two teammates. DiVincenzo and Kuminga also each scored 9 points. The former King also grabbed 9 rebounds, the Warriors’ second-best rebounder behind Green and Looney’s 11.
✅ Damian Lillard. The Blazers star scored 25 of his 32 points in the second and third quarters. Forced to play more than expected due to numerous player absences and Simmons’ injury in the third quarter, he ran out of juice late in the game.
✅ Josh Hart. The Blazers’ handyman struck again with 12 points, 11 rebounds, including 5 offensive, and 7 assists.
⛔ Anfernee Simmons. The guard needed 21 shots to score 22 points and was targeted by the Warriors on defense the entire game.
Golden State (19-18) : the Warriors continue on January 1st still at home against Atlanta
Portland (18-17): The Blazers host the Pistons on Monday for their first game of 2023.