Preview: Warriors at Trail Blazers
The Golden State Warriors look to wrap up play before the All-Star break with their 17th victory in the past 18 games when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday. The Warriors have scored at least 100 points in 27 straight games after registering a 115-108 home win over the Utah Jazz on Tuesday.
Golden State has opened up a three-game lead over the Denver Nuggets in the Western Conference and will be shooting for its sixth straight win before getting in a bit of relaxation. “That week off is nice but we got to finish the job,” Warriors star point guard Stephen Curry said in a postgame television interview. “We want to end on a high note, go up to Portland and get a win and feel good about ourselves and get rejuvenated and come back looking forward to that playoff push.” Portland has lost three of its past four games after falling 120-111 to the host Oklahoma City Thunder on Monday. Trail Blazers star point guard Damian Lillard is averaging 28 points against Golden State this season, including a 40-point effort during a 115-105 loss on Dec. 29.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, ESPN, NBCS Bay Area (Golden State), NBCS Northwest (Portland)
ABOUT THE WARRIORS (41-15): Shooting guard Klay Thompson scored 22 points on 9-of-14 shooting against Utah despite dislocating the ring finger on his left hand in the first quarter. Coach Steve Kerr said after the contest that Thompson will play against Portland and marveled at the reliability of the eight-year veteran. “His availability every single night is one of his best attributes as an NBA player,” Kerr said. “It is just incredibly valuable to have a guy you just know you can count on. Even on nights where he gets banged up, he seems to kind of shake it off and come right back.”
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS (33-23): Lillard scored 31 points against Oklahoma City for his second 30-point outing and his sixth in his past 11 appearances. Shooting guard CJ McCollum scored 30 or more points in three straight games and four of six before struggling with 11-of-37 shooting – averaging 13.5 points – in back-to-back losses to Dallas and Oklahoma City. Backup guard Rodney Hood is getting incorporated into the mix and is averaging 10.3 points while making 13-of-19 shots in three games since being acquired from the Cleveland Cavaliers.
1. The Warriors are 2-1 against the Trail Blazers this season and have won 18 of the past 24 meetings.
2. Golden State SF Kevin Durant scored 28 points against Utah and has scored 20 or more in 28 of the past 29 contests.
3. Portland backup SF Jake Layman scored 17 points in the loss to the Thunder and has scored in double digits in 10 of the past 13 games.