Warriors Close Out Season With Win Over Blazers
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OAKLAND (CBS / AP) — Reggie Williams scored 28 points and Stephen Curry had 18 points and nine assists in the Golden State Warriors’ 110-86 victory over the playoff-bound Portland Trail Blazers on Wednesday night.
Dorell Wright had 20 points to cap a breakout season for the veteran forward and David Lee added 13 points for the Warriors in what could be first-year coach Keith Smart’s final game.
Smart, who replaced Don Nelson before the season, led Golden State to a 36-46 record. That was a 10-game turnaround from 2010 but the team still missed the playoffs for the 16th time in 17 seasons and Smart’s future is uncertain under new owners Joe Lacob and Peter Guber.
Patty Mills had a career-high 23 points and Wesley Matthews added 18 points for Portland, which already had locked up the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference.
The Trail Blazers will open the playoffs against the Dallas Mavericks.
The outcome wasn’t all that surprising for a Portland team with nothing on the line.
The Blazers secured the No. 6 seed in the Western Conference on Tuesday night with a victory over Memphis. That gave coach Nate McMillan a chance to rest starters LaMarcus Aldridge, Marcus Camby, Nicholas Batum and Gerald Wallace before opening the postseason at Dallas.
Earl Barron, signed as a free agent on Tuesday, started at center in Portland’s makeshift lineup that also included reserves Rudy Fernandez and Chris Johnson.
With the bench logging most of the minutes, the Blazers fell behind early and couldn’t recover.
Golden State, meanwhile, was without leading scorer Monta Ellis who suffered a Grade 2 concussion in Sunday’s loss to Sacramento. Ellis dressed for the game and sat on the bench in the first half but did not come out after halftime.
Even without Ellis, the Warriors had it easy while winning their third straight against Portland this season.
Golden State even made a little history along the way.
Wright, who signed a three-year deal with the Warriors last July after five years with Miami, finished the season with 1,344 points, 10 more than the total he had in his previous six seasons combined. In doing so, Wright—the league’s leading 3-point shooter going into the night—became the first player in NBA history to accomplish that feat according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Smart spoke with reporters before the game about his future in Golden State but said he was more focused on the progress the team has made this season. The Warriors won 10 more games under Smart than they did in 2010 in Nelson’s final season.
“We are moving in a positive direction,” Smart said. “We are not where we want to be but eventually, if we continue to do the right things, myself as a coach, as players, as an organization, we are going to get there.”
The Warriors jumped out to a 12-point lead in the first quarter, led by as much as 24 in the second half then held on to snap Portland’s three-game winning streak.
The Blazers lost for just the third time in their last nine games, a stretch that included victories over playoff-bound San Antonio, Oklahoma City, Dallas and the Lakers.
Luke Babbitt had a double-double with 11 points and 11 rebounds for Portland, which shot just 33.7 percent from the floor and committed 21 turnovers.
NOTES: The game was a sellout, Golden State’s 13th of the season. … Curry set a franchise record for free throw percentage (92.6), breaking Hall of Famer Rick Barry’s mark of 92.4 percent set in 1977-78. … Oakland Raiders head coach Hue Jackson and former safety Eddie Anderson sat courtside.
(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)