Warriors roll in Game 1 rout
OAKLAND, Calif. — Stephen Curry made nine 3-pointers and scored 36 points, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 116-94 on Tuesday night in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals while playing without injured star Kevin Durant once again.
Curry shot 12 for 23 in his fourth 30-point performance this postseason, finding far more open looks than he had in the last round against Houston. The two-time NBA MVP outplayed the Portland duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, who combined to go 11 for 31 facing a strong Golden State defense.
Klay Thompson had 26 points, including a late one-handed slam. Draymond Green established the energy on both ends early for the well-rested Warriors and finished with 12 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals.
Lillard scored 19 points back home in Oakland, just miles away from where he grew up. McCollum had 17 and missed five of his six 3s as the cold-shooting Blazers went just 7 for 28 from long range.
Game 2 is Thursday night, and the Warriors are unlikely to have two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP Durant back from a strained right calf.
There’s a one-name superstar on either side: Giannis and Kawhi. There’s a Milwaukee franchise that hasn’t been to the NBA Finals in 45 years, opposite a Toronto franchise that has never been to the title round. The Bucks have a coach with an economics degree who wasn’t there last year; the Raptors have a coach with an accounting degree who wasn’t the boss last year.
Similarities abound between Milwaukee and Toronto.
Over the next couple of weeks, one team will separate itself.
The top-seeded Bucks play host to the second-seeded Raptors tonight in Game 1 of the Eastern Conference finals. They had the best records in the NBA this season — Milwaukee went 60-22, Toronto went 58-24 — and one of them will have home-court advantage for the NBA Finals starting May 30.
“You can’t get caught up in people’s expectations,” Raptors star Kawhi Leonard said Tuesday. “You’ve got to worry about self-expectations, team expectations, and winning, and that’s what we have to focus on. It doesn’t matter about the one-on-one match-up. This game isn’t a one-on-one basketball game.”