Warriors

Warriors' bigs come up huge in Game 2 win over Blazers

Warriors' bigs come up huge in Game 2 win over Blazers

OAKLAND -- Missing Kevin Durant and his 25 or so points, the Warriors knew they’d have to find scoring from other sources, which usually is code for requesting a Stephen Curry or Klay Thompson explosion.

That did not materialize Wednesday night in Game 2 of their first-round series with Portland. Nor did the team’s fourth All-Star and No. 4 scorer, Draymond Green, fill the vacuum.

Where to turn? To the big men, the three-headed behemoth the Warriors spent the regular season leaning on for just about everything except scoring.

They came through. From 6-foot-11 Zaza Pachulia, to 7-foot JaVale McGee to 6-9 David West, the centers carried an uncharacteristically heavy offensive lead in a 110-81 win over the Trail Blazers.

“A lot of people do talk about the four of us,” Green said. “But one thing that's constant in this organization is everybody, the strength in the numbers, the depth that we rely on so heavily throughout the course of the year and through the Playoffs. And it's showing up tonight.”

The three centers combined for 33 points on 15-of-20 shooting from the field, 10 rebounds, five blocked shots and four assists over a total of 44 minutes. Anytime the Warriors can get that kind of production from Pachulia, McGee and West, it almost doesn’t matter if anyone else has a big offensive night.

“Zaza got us off to a really good start,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “He made a big impact and then JaVale came in and followed that up with high energy. It was a weird first half. We went into halftime up nine without Steph and Klay really shooting the ball well.”

The Warriors were up nine at the half largely because that’s when McGee scored 13 of his 15 points, accomplished on 7-of-7 shooting. He was the only Warrior with more than 8 points. Pachulia scored 10 points on 5-of-8 shooting and West added 8 on 3-of-5 shooting.

They took full advantage of a Blazers team without its starting center, Jusuf Nurkic, and also with its two other natural centers, Ed Davis and Festus Ezeli, also sidelined.

The Warriors needed such massive numbers from unusual producers because Curry totaled 19 points on 6-of-18, Thompson 16 points on 6-of-17 shooting and Green 6 points on 1-of-5 shooting.

“Steph didn't have a huge game, I didn't have a huge game, Klay didn't have a huge game,” Green said. “Yet we were able to put the game together that we did tonight.

“It’s a testament to that depth. We won almost by 30 points without anyone having a huge game. But everybody did a little bit of something. That's especially important with KD out. He's such an important and huge force for us.”

How Warriors fans can watch game this season with Larry O'Brien Trophy

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How Warriors fans can watch game this season with Larry O'Brien Trophy

Once the NBA season starts, every player is out for the same thing -- a chance to raise the Larry O'Brien Trophy at the end of the year.

During the 2017-18 season, Warriors fans can watch a game at Oracle Arena with the prize possession right by their side. All you need is $2,000. 

If you can write the check, the trophy will pay you a visit in a premium suite, plus two bottle of champagne and a gift bag that includes a six-inch replica trophy and a replica championship ring. 

Fans are limited to four experiences with the trophy per game. 

Darren Rovell of ESPN was first to share the details. 

Damian Lillard: 'I'm not joining nobody' like Kevin Durant did, unless...

Damian Lillard: 'I'm not joining nobody' like Kevin Durant did, unless...

Kevin Durant. LeBron James. Chris Paul. Paul George. LaMarcus Aldridge. Kyrie Irving. Gordon Hayward.

Those just some of the superstars to change teams in the last few years in pursuit of a championship.

But don't expect Damian Lillard to add his name to that list.

While speaking on the latest episode of Complex's Everyday Struggle, the Blazers point guard was asked about the possibility of joining up with other stars to try to win a title.

"I mean, like I said about [former Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge], I wouldn't have done it. For me, I'm not joining nobody," Lillard said.

When it was brought up that he'd join LeBron if given the chance, Lillard responded by saying this: "I'm not joining nobody. I would not win a championship before I go and team up and do all that. Unless it was something I couldn't control."

A hypothetical scenario was posed to Lillard: Let's say you're 34 years old (Lillard is currently 27 years old) and you had the chance to join two of your superstar friends on another team. You still wouldn't do it?

"I’m saying this because this is how I feel, not how I feel at the moment. That’s just how I feel about it. I think if that’s what somebody wants to do, I’m not mad at them for doing it. I’m just telling you what I’m not going to do. That ain’t how we get down," Lillard responded.

To wrap up the topic, Lillard was asked if he holds it against any player that does decide to team up with other superstars.

"Nah, if it make them feel good, if they comfortable doing it, then do you," Lillard said.