Warriors

Instant Replay: Warriors clamp on down on defense, cruise past Blazers

Instant Replay: Warriors clamp on down on defense, cruise past Blazers

BOX SCORE

OAKLAND -- Staggering and stumbling and at times appearing utterly disoriented, the Warriors summoned more than enough Wednesday night to drill the even wobblier Portland Trail Blazers.

With backup center JaVale McGee restoring order to the proceedings, the Warriors rolled to a 110-81 rout of Portland at Oracle Arena to take a 2-0 lead in their best-of-seven first-round Western Conference playoff series.

Stephen Curry put in 19 points to lead the Warriors in scoring, while Klay Thompson had 16, McGee 15, Ian Clark 13 and Zaza Pachulia 10.

Playing without Kevin Durant, Shaun Livingston and Matt Barnes, the Warriors outrebounded the Blazers 54-47 and limited them to 33.3-percent shooting from the field, including 20.6 percent (7-of-34) beyond the arc.

The Warriors overcame 17 turnovers, off which the Blazers scored 20 points. Portland, however, had 19 giveaways, off which the Warriors scored 20 points.

Poor shooting by Curry (6-of-18) and Thompson (6-of-17) was more than offset by a forgettable night by Portland guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum, who combined for 75 points in Game 1 but on this night totaled 23 on 9-of-34 shooting.

All 11 available Warriors entered the game and got on the scoreboard.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

The Warriors received outstanding play from all their big men, but the key points of this game were decorated with McGee’s fingerprints.

McGee’s line: 15 points (7-of-7 shooting from the field, 1-of-1 from the line), five rebounds, four blocks and one steal. He played 13 minutes and finished plus-19.

TURNING POINT

After Portland trimmed a 16-point deficit to one in the second quarter, the Warriors put together runs closing the first half and opening the second to reassert themselves.

When Evan Turner drilled a 3-pointer to pull the Blazers to 43-42 with 3:38 left in the quarter, the Warriors closed the half on a 12-4 run to take a 55-46 lead into intermission.

The Warriors opened the second half with a 7-0 run, going up 62-46 on a Curry layup with 10:13 left in the third quarter. They held Portland to 12 points in the third, tied for the fewest in a playoff game by any Warriors opponent in the shot-clock era.

Portland got no closer than 14 over the final 22 minutes.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: F Matt Barnes (R ankle/foot sprain), F Kevin Durant (L calf strain) and G Shaun Livingston (R index finger sprain/hand contusion) were listed as questionable and downgraded to out before tipoff. F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) was listed as out.

Trail Blazers: G Allen Crabbe (L foot soreness) and G CJ McCollum (R ankle sprain) were listed as probable and upgraded to available. C Ed Davis (L shoulder surgery), C Festus Ezeli (L knee surgery) and C Jusuf Nurkic (R leg fracture) were listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT

The teams return to action Saturday night for Game 3 at Moda Center in Portland. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:35.

LeBron reacts to Kyrie Irving trade: 'What a ride...'

LeBron reacts to Kyrie Irving trade: 'What a ride...'

The dynamic duo of LeBron James and Kyrie Irving lasted just three seasons.

Despite making it to the NBA Finals in all three seasons, Irving wanted out of the partnership.

On Tuesday, he got his wish as the Cavs traded him to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a 2018 first-round pick.

While the rumor was that Irving didn't want to play with James anymore, the four-time MVP had nothing but nice words to say about Irving on Twitter a few hours after the trade became official.

"That's the only way to be to the kid! Special talent/guy! Nothing but respect and what a ride it was our 3 years together Young Gode," James wrote in response to a short video of a fan placing a 'thank you' note on Irving's No. 2 Cavs jersey.

James and Irving won't have to wait very long to see each other again. The Cavs and Celtics face each other on Opening Night in Cleveland.

All the NBA deck chairs have been moved, but it doesn't even matter

All the NBA deck chairs have been moved, but it doesn't even matter

The Kyrie Irving-from-LeBronville Heights-to-Bahstin trade is rightly being called a blockbuster because it engenders so many concepts at once – making the second-best team in the NBA’s Eastern Conference seemingly better than the first-best team with one phone call and five shifted bodies.

At least that’s how it plays outside the Bay Area, because now that the Golden State Warriors have taken ownership of the entire league, Kyrie Irving’s whereabouts don’t actually change the balance of power – because there is none.

There’s the power, and there’s the other 29 teams.

Plus, and this is a forgotten element through all the machinations of the NBA’s Meth-Bender Summer, the league is fighting over individual pieces when the Warriors are preaching the virtues of the mega-ensemble.

Irving wants to be the focus of his team, which seems to fly in the face of Boston’s ball-movement philosophy. Paul George, who complained when he didn’t take the last shot in a playoff game this April, is in Oklahoma City with the master of the me-first game, Russell Westbrook. Carmelo Anthony is still in stasis but constantly mentioned as the next Houston Rocket, joining Chris Paul and James Harden in what would seem to be the living embodiment of The Total Is Less Than The Sum Of Its Parts ball.

Unless, of course, all these assumptions are wrong, and all the relocated stars suddenly find the virtues the Warriors displayed in boatracing the field this year and become not only unselfish offensively but more stridently devoted to defense. All these players are bright, determined, and seemingly open to new ideas (well, maybe not Melo, but even that is open to debate), but will they choose to be?

And even more compelling, will there be the immediate payoff in doing so?

On Question A, let us be charitable and suggest that they can do that. On Question B, however, such a return seems unlikely unless the Warriors either devote themselves to the pursuit of self or fail to avoid the medical department.

There is something worrisome about the sureness with which people are conceding 2018 – can all these self-absorbed morons be right? Things can happen to great teams, even in the NBA, which is the most hierarchical of sports.

But only the Warriors can beat the Warriors, because Kyrie Irving the Celtic does not seem at first glance to be better positioned for a parade than Kyrie Irving the Cavalier.

And that’s true of every roster move this summer. Deck chairs were moved for a better view, but the bridge is manned by the same captain, at least for the time being.