Portland Trail Blazers kick Golden State Warriors: Depth, ejections and damage returns

Damian Lillard continued his run of glorious play, CJ McCollum had another inclusive scoring night and Jusuf Nurkic logged a double-double in singular minutes.

But as the Portland Trail Blazers kick the Golden State Warriors Friday night, strictly specifying themselves as a hottest organisation in a NBA, it was a ancillary expel that kept them red hot.

The Blazers’ dais total to measure 47 points and played well-developed in a fourth entertain as they cruised past a Warriors 125-108 during a Moda Center. It was a latest, and maybe greatest, instance of one of a Blazers’ flourishing strengths: depth.

“I’ve been observant it,” Lillard said. “Since we’ve been on this run, a disproportion has been a contributions we’re removing from everybody. Everybody’s entrance in and impacting a game.”

Since Pat Connaughton‘s memorable opening night, a Blazers’ dais has proven to be a strength, though it’s been particularly clever during a season-best nine-game winning strain that has catapulted them into third place in a Western Conference standings. Between a scoring of Shabazz Napier, a ignored prolongation of Evan Turner, a presentation of Zach Collins, a still contributions of Connaughton and a perfect value of Ed Davis, a Blazers’ dais has developed into a force.

And this was generally loyal Friday night. Four of a Blazers’ pivotal pot reached double total in scoring and played vicious roles in a make-or-break fourth quarter, when a Blazers outscored a Warriors 38-25 to kick a reigning NBA champions.

The contributions from a backups were immeasurable and varied.

Turner finished with 12 points and 3 assists and capably shielded Kevin Durant in a fourth quarter, when a nine-time All-Star scored usually 5 points and committed dual turnovers. Napier converted a four-point play en track to 10 points. And Collins finished with 12 points and 4 rebounds on 5-of-6 shooting, while induction mixed critical plays in a fourth, including attack a purchase three-pointer, snatching a take and converting a nifty pierce in that he pump-faked on a perimeter, dribbled into a line and kicked a pass to a corner, where Lillard swished a 3 in front of a Warriors’ bench.

All a while, Davis was a beast, recording 10 points, a season-high 15 rebounds and a season-high 4 assists. During one noted and romantic play, Davis chased an descent miscarry with 3 opposite Warriors players, wrestling a round divided from a organisation as he was fouled. Afterward, he scowled, and a Moda Center went ballistic.

“He’s carrying a career year,” Lillard pronounced of Davis. “His impact on a diversion is crazy. Every time we demeanour adult during a six-minute mark, when him and Zach come in a diversion together, they come in and they move that appetite and they give us additional possessions. They’re safeguarding a rim. They’re environment good screens. They’re unequivocally impacting a game. It’s usually good to see that from Ed after how he finished final season. we know how tough he was operative this summer. You could tell mentally and physically he came into this deteriorate prepared to go and it’s unequivocally starting to uncover through.”

Collins and Davis have been so good, they’ve forced coach Terry Stotts to play them in lieu of Nurkic in a fourth quarter. During a Blazer’s nine-game winning streak, Collins or Davis — or both — have played some-more fourth-quarter mins than Nurkic 5 times, including during wins over a Minnesota Timberwolves, Oklahoma City Thunder and Warriors.

“He’s tough, I’m tough,” Davis pronounced of a large male duo. “We’re both unstinting and we usually go out there and usually play hard. He can space a floor. we like to be underneath a basket by myself, so we can go one-on-one with a bigs on a descent glass. So that helps out a lot.”

As Collins has grown some-more assured in his long-range shot and some-more gentle in break time, he and Davis have given Stotts opposite options down a widen of critical games.

“I consider they play good together,” Stotts pronounced of Davis and Collins. “They have a good skill-set to element any other. They have good defensive instincts. It’s tough since Nurk and (Al-Farouq Aminu) are a large partial of a organisation as well. Games like tonight, it’s a tough decision. But I’m blissful it worked out.”

The Blazers (40-26) are a dangerous organisation since of Lillard and McCollum. But they will usually go as distant as their ancillary expel takes them.

“Guys have stepped adult and guys have played unusually well, being stars in their roles,” McCollum pronounced of a bench. “Making a right plays, right passes, rebounding, defending, (having) active hands. Guys have been great.”


In a second entertain of Friday night’s matchup, a fan was escorted from his courtside chair after exchanging written jabs with Durant. During a side inbound play, Durant became visibly dissapoint and had to be pulled back by Draymond Green after a profanity-laced exchange. Officials intervened and asked confidence guards to chaperon a fan away.

Blazers’ brazen Moe Harkless, who was station in between Durant and a fan as he prepared to inbound a ball, had a giggle during a incident.

“They were usually job any other names behind and forth,” Harkless said. “That was flattering most it. They kept repeating a same thing over and over.

“It was humorous to me.”

As a fan was escorted away, Durant blew atmosphere kisses and flashed a assent sign.

“It usually happened,” Durant said. “Sometimes, usually close adult and watch a game, man. You don’t have zero to do with what’s going on on a floor. You’re not important. You’re usually a fan during a game. Watch a diversion and suffer it. You wish to get involved. These guys wish to get concerned when you’re sitting courtside; usually enjoyed a game. (I’m) blissful a ref got (him).”


Harkless returned after a three-game deficiency since of a left knee damage and started during tiny forward. Harkless, who harmed himself in a initial entertain of a win over a Timberwolves on Mar 1, played scarcely 20 mins and finished with 6 points, one miscarry and one steal.

Afterward, he pronounced his knee felt “pretty good” and was carefree he would be excellent relocating forward.

“After use (Thursday), it felt flattering good,” he said. “Right now, it feels good. So usually as prolonged as it doesn’t light adult or anything (Saturday), I’m good to go.”    

Joe Freeman | jfreeman@oregonian.com | 503-294-5183 | @BlazerFreeman

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