Lillard’s late game heroics lift Blazers over Warriors

Sports

Dame and Melo each had 22 for Portland

Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard drives to the basket in front of Golden State Warriors center James Wiseman, right, and forward Kent Bazemore during the second half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore., Wednesday, March 3, 2021. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)

PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Damian Lillard hit a deep 3-pointer with 13.7 seconds left to give the Portland Trail Blazers a hard-fought 108-106 victory over the Golden State Warriors.

Lillard and Carmelo Anthony each had 22 points for the Blazers, who kept it close most of the way after the Warriors jumped out to an early lead. Stephen Curry scored 35 points to lead the Warriors. His 3-pointer gave Golden State a 101-96 lead with 3:57 remaining.

ANALYSIS

  1. Came out slow, but found a way to stay in the game

Well, the game certainly did not start like the Blazers had planned for. Right off the tip, the warriors offense excelled and had great ball movement, decision making, and most important, scoring. The Warriors jumped out to an early 10-0 lead over the Blazers and then stretched the lead to 12 early in the first quarter.  Even though the Blazers were down double digits in semmisly seconds, they found a way to claw back into this game and cut the deficit from double digits to just one at the end of the first quarter. 

  1. Poor first half shooting

The Blazers really struggled shooting in the first half against the Warriors. The biggest probably was the poor shot selection the Blazers had. The offense as a whole looked very jagged, out of rhythm, and just not themselves. Usually, we will see  their scorers create space, hit a defender with a move and at the very least get a good look. Instead, the Blazers settled for fadeaway jumpers and really tough shots which led to the poor shooting. 

  1. Carmelo’s solid game off the bench

The Blazers are lucky to have themselves one of the greatest scorers in NBA history coming off the bench. Against the Warriors Carmelo had a very solid first half, leading the Blazers with 11 points. This is huge for the Blazers because once Lillard comes off the court, the Blazers need someone to step up and carry the load offensively, especially with C.J McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic out due to injury

  1. Warriors points off turnovers

Both of these teams finished the game with a decent amount of turnovers. The difference in those turnovers though, was the points off of those turnovers. Each time the Blazers turned the ball over, it seemed like the Warriors were able to capitalize on them by pushing the pace and catching the Blazers defense on their heels before they could even catch up. This made things extremely hard for the Blazers to any sort of rhythm on the defense side of things.

  1. Tough night shooting for Dame

Sometimes, we forget that Lillard is human. Game after game Lillard continues to not only impress the fans, but the players and i’m sure even himself. Against the Warriors, Lillard struggled to find his usual rhythm especially from the three point line. But, managed to come up big when it mattered the most.

  1. Late game play from the Blazers

This was a back and forth game all night, but the biggest plays of the night came late down the stretch with just two minutes left in this one. Lillard not only came down and hit a huge three tpo give the Blazers the two point lead, but he made a huge play on the defensive side of things taking a charge on the Warriors last offensive possession to secure the Blazers 108-106 win. 

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