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Stephen Curry Lights it Up in Warriors’ Rebound Victory Over Portland

Game Story For Tomorrow’s Paper

Spend enough time around the Warriors and you’ll hear talk about how great they are on offense. Wednesday night against Portland, it actually was the truth.

Point guard Stephen Curry scored a game-high 32 points to go with seven assists and forward David Lee totaled 26 as Golden State bested the Blazers 101-93, rebounding from Monday’s embarrassing collapse against Memphis.

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“We weren’t stressing about it at all, we just knew that we had an extreme lapse of play last game,” Curry said. “We know when we have the opportunity that we are capable of closing out games.”

The Warriors set season-highs with 33 assists and 11 3-pointers while snapping a three-game losing streak and getting their first win against a Western Conference opponent. The Warriors offense, which shot 51.9 percent, was clicking well enough against the Blazers that guard Monta Ellis didn’t even need to score.

Ellis finished with four points on 2-for-9 shooting. But he had a season-high 12 assists.

“When we move the ball and use all our weapons, instead of guys just being out there, we’re a better team,” forward Dorell Wright said. “We had 33 assists. That’s how it’s supposed to be – moving the ball and sharing the ball. You’ve got to make defenses work.”

The Warriors are hardly an offensive juggernaut these days, so such a scoring performance isn’t the norm. Golden State came into Wednesday’s game 13th in the league in scoring (95.3) and eighth in field goal percentage (45.6 percent). Not bad, but certainly not the dominant offensive squad of yesteryear.

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But Wednesday,Golden State was clicking, especially in the second half. It wasn’t that they were lights out shooting or racking up a boat load of points. But they diversified their offense, taking advantage of multiple weapons instead of relying solely on Ellis.

After halftime, Golden State had 20 assists on 21 made baskets.

“We have no problems scoring,” coach Mark Jackson said. “We haven’t lost games because we couldn’t score. You look at the games we lost, we stopped defending.”

The Warriors didn’t stop defending Wednesday.

The Blazers looked to have their way in the first half, shooting 50 percent in the second quarter en route to a 53-48 lead. But in the second half, Golden State tightened up on defense. Portland scored just 40 points after halftime – which is one point more than Memphis scored in the fourth quarter Monday. In the end, the Blazers shot 41 percent.

Golden State was dominated on the boards Wednesday, however. Led by center Marcus Camby’s game-high 16 rebounds, the Blazers outrebounded the Warriors by 13 and racked up 12 offensive rebounds.

But Golden State offset the damage with timely, efficient offense.

The Warriors took control of the game in the third quarter. More accurately, Curry took control of the game in the third quarter. Curry kept finding himself open, knocking down four 3-pointers in the quarter. He put up 16 in the third helping Golden State make 12 of 19 from the field.

Curry started a run with a 3-pointer, putting the Warriors up 72-70. He then capped the spurt by connecting with forward Dorell Wright on a length-of-the-court pass for a break-away layup. The Warriors, who had been down by as much as 10, entered the fourth quarter up 79-73.

In the fourth quarter, it was Lee’s turn. He scored 10 of the Warriors’ first 12 points of the quarter.

Golden State’s defense did the rest. The Warriors held Portland to 7 of 18 shooting in the fourth quarter with four turnovers. Blazers leading scorer Jamal Crawford, a former Warrior, needed six shots to get seven points in the fourth quarter.

“We defended, we rebounded, we took care of the ball,” said Jackson, whose team totaled 12 turnovers. “We made mistakes, but when you put for the energy and effort, good things happen. We did a great job closing out against a very good basketball team.”

* Warriors swingman Klay Thompson seems to have the swag back in his game. Working with the second unit, the rookie out of Washington State has shown an ability to give the Warriors quick offense. His outside shot is starting to fall as expected.

Thompson entered Wednesday’s game averaging 10.3 points over the previous four contests. He shot 51.6 percent during that stretch, including 9-for-15 from 3-point range.

That’s a far cry from the gun shy rookie who started 6-for-20 from the field over his first five games.

“He’s much more confident, for whatever reason,” Jackson said. “I thought early on in the season, he turned down shots. … I told him, ‘Reggie Miller would never shake his head missing a shot.’ ”

* Speaking of shooters, Rush has been on a tear from deep. He made all three of his attempts from beyond the arc Wednesday.

Rush has made 10 of his last 12 attempts from 3-point range. Wednesday, he passedBoston’s Ray Allen and now leads the league in 3-point shooting (57.4 percent).

* Rookie big man Jeremy Tyler played eight first-half minutes, totaling five points and a rebound. He hadn’t played more than three minutes in a game this season.

* Rap legend and Oakland native MC Hammer was in attendance Wednesday.

Marcus Thompson

  • rotfogel

    Trade em’ while they’re hot!!!!Curry, Monte, Epic Doodoo, sell the farm quick, they won a game!

  • Tay

    Agreed trade Curry keep Monta don’t care about Curry’s 30 point night a few of his 3′s were so open I would have made them and what was up with his goofy dance after he made a 3 and then of course CSN shows it like 5 more time throughout the game. I’m sorry but I’m just not a Curry fan how soon before he gets hurt again? One game against ate am played their 3rd game in 3 days doesn’t mean squat! Warriors need to make a change trade Curry before the rest of the league sees what I see a string bean shooter who can’t guard anybody turns it over way too much for a supposedly smart player who has been around the league his ENTIRE life! But gets so much love bc his jumper is pretty weak get rid of him while we still can!

  • Derek

    Tay I agree with you 99%. I have no problem with the dance, but I agree Curry should be traded while he’s healthy.

    Monta is the better player and he stays healthy, in fact he also plays hurt.

    The Dubs need to fire Riley before trading anybody. Riley gets fleeced in every trade he makes. The guy blew up a playoff team, 11 deep in real players only to get what they currently have. Riley is by far the worse GM in the NBA.

  • John Starks

    @Derek and Tay – Having Curry and Ellis on the same team is a pretty rare treat. Most GMs would kill (OK, maybe seriously maim) to have a backcourt that can do what the Warriors’ backcourt can do. You’d have to seriously consider every consequence of breaking them up.

    I’m so over debating which of these guys should go, as if they simply cannot play together. Well, they DO play together and they CAN win together. We should be finding excuses to keep them both, not which one has to go. DONE.

    Beyond that, it’s great to see this team get a win. I know these guys work hard and it doesn’t always pay off so a little positive reinforcement helps. For the most part, they’ve been holding down the fort…until the 4th quarter. With efforts like last nights, they will be in the hunt in most games they play.

  • rotfogel

    Dang John Starks, you are one optimistic guy. Excuse me for being a warriors fan for my entire life, but I’ve seen this before. Look, we’ve got exactly a .93 percent chance of making the playoffs this year. We need to overhaul the lineup big time and we MUST get into the 2012 draft (way too much talent to be outta that one).

    I’m not down with “hey we won A GAME…ONE FREAKING GAME…let’s go out and celebrate and feel good now”.

    I’m not a freaking loser, I want winners, I want players who want to win. With this group, can’t do it. Can not coach with them, can not play with them, can’t do it. -Singletary

    The Greg Monroe gaff eats away at my soul, but we can rectify that quickly by drafting someone like Jared Sullinger.

  • John Starks

    @Rotfogel – Not sure how you got ““hey we won A GAME…ONE FREAKING GAME…let’s go out and celebrate and feel good now” out of my post but OK. I’ll clarify.

    I guess you’re so pessimistic that not even ONE FREAKING GAME is worth tyring to build some momentum on. You’re (rightfully) so pissed off from the constant losing that you can’t see ANYTHING positive about this season. So, I guess we should just forfeit the rest of our games, huh? You would not last long on my roster.

    This team CAN win, believe it or not. (Well, apparently you don’t.) With a center doing anything whatsoever, this team would be in a much different position. But, I digress.

    I am not so disillusioned that I think the team is suddenly playoff bound after last nights’ win. If you cruise the other Warrior fan sites (which I’m assuming you do), you’ve seen my other posts where I’m pretty much unhappy like everyone else.

    Frankly, I’m tired of bitching and moaning about it. If you want to help the team win as a fan, how about not pissing down their victories, even if they are somewhat irrelevant? ANY win is positive. Go with that.

    If I was in the Warrior locker room, you could guarantee that I’d be the one of the guys who’s had absolutely enough…to the point where I’m coming out of the locker room pissed and ready to throw punches if I have to in order to get a win.

  • ugh

    ugh, yea that Greg Monroe thing still gets me.
    Also, passing up or not trading down to later draft Marshon Brooks.

  • http://mikebibbybefloppin.blogspot.com Grady

    More on last night’s win: http://bit.ly/wT8Wqa

  • Harry

    I hope the warriors can build on this win and like Starks wrote play with a purpose to WIN GAMES. I was very impressed with Monta’s disciplined playmaking . This team can make it work but they HAVE to play like this consistently. Between Nate,Monta,Steph, and D.Lee theres too much playmaking ability to be wasted and if they’re smart about it they could win games consistently provided they play solid defense consistently
    Should Riley be fired..maybe. Getting Brandon Rush was a great deal for us, and how Earl Barron can help this team is yet to be seen. If the rookies keep progressing and earning playing time he and the f.o will get the credit
    But AB isn’t working out and if Riley is half as smart as we think he is he’ll get someone who can do the jobs Beidrins isn’t and

  • Derek

    Blanche and Wall for Curry and Biedrens. Yes Curry and Monta are a good back court, I think they can and do play well together, howver those two are the only trading chips Riley has left. The idiot traded all the others for nothing or let them walk without compensation. This team can’t win. The team can’t win without a decent big man. A rebounding, defensive minded big who can also score when needed. Biedrens is done, he’s totally worthless, an over paid back-up.