Unsung Hero McGee Helps Warriors To 2-0 Lead Over Portland

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 19 points on an off night, JaVale McGee sparked Golden State off the bench with 15 points, and the short-handed Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-81 in Game 2 of their first-round playoff series Wednesday night without injured leading scorer Kevin Durant.

McGee shined on a night none of the usual stars found their consistent shooting strokes. The backup big man made all seven of his field-goal attempts and delivered several more of his signature alley-oop dunks as Durant watched with a strained left calf he hurt in the playoff opener Sunday.

Draymond Green had another fantastic all-around game, getting 12 rebounds, 10 assists, six points and three more blocked shots after swatting five in Sunday’s win.

Curry went 6 for 18 and also had six assists and six rebounds. Klay Thompson was 6 of 17 with 16 points and CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard were hardly were the dynamic scoring duo for Portland they’d been combining for 75 points only three days earlier.

Again, Golden State did it on defense — holding the Blazers to 12 points in the third. And now the Warriors own a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series as it shifts to Portland for Saturday’s Game 3, just as Steve Kerr’s group did going ahead on the Blazers in last year’s Western Conference semifinal won in five games.

Maurice Harkless scored all of his 15 points in the first half and the Blazers gave up seven straight points to start the third as the Warriors were off and running. Portland played again without center Jusuf Nurkic, and missed him. The 7-footer still isn’t 100 percent from a nondisplaced fracture in his right leg that sidelined him for the final seven regular-season games.

McCollum, who shot 16 for 28 with four 3-pointers to score 41 in the 121-109 Game 1 loss, scored 11 points on 4-for-17 shooting. Lillard was 5 for 17 and held to 12 points.

Coach Terry Stotts called on his team to be more balanced to have a chance against top-seeded Golden State, which finished with the NBA’s best record for a third straight season.

Instead, the Warriors once more showed their remarkable balance despite also missing Shaun Livingston from Sunday’s win.

Ian Clark scored 13 points, Andre Iguodala contributed 10 rebounds, six assists and six points, and Zaza Pachulia scored 10 points. McGee did his thing with three alley-oops in the first and two on consecutive possessions late in the period.

Lillard had back-to-back driving layups early as Portland jumped out to a 9-4 lead. Then Golden State got three straight 3s by Green, Thompson and Curry and used a 14-0 run to go up 18-9.

Portland couldn’t keep up after it began 6 for 21 and struggled from deep. Allen Crabbe finished 3 for 10 and missed all five of his 3s.

Green already had six rebounds and six assists in the first quarter. He went down hard with 9:06 remaining in the third quarter on a foul to the head by Meyers Leonard. The play went to review and was ruled a common foul.

TIP-INS

Trail Blazers: The Blazers’ third-quarter scoring output was their lowest in any period this season — and tied for the fewest in a quarter by a Warriors playoff opponent in the shot clock era. … Portland shot 7 for 34 on 3s and 30 for 90 overall. … The Blazers have lost 11 out of the last 12 to the Warriors and 11 straight at Oracle Arena.

Warriors: Thompson matched Hall of Famer Rick Barry for second place on the franchise list for postseason games played with 66. … Livingston sat out with a sprained right index finger and bruised hand, while F Matt Barnes didn’t play as he is still working back from a sprained right ankle and foot. … Rookie Patrick McCaw earned his first playoff start in place of Durant and had nine points and five rebounds. … Curry joined Barry as the only Warriors with 100 steals in the playoffs. … Iguodala dished his 400th career postseason assist in the first. …

UP NEXT

Kerr hopes to have a healthy lineup for Game 3, though might choose to hold out Durant again.

“I think everybody is healing and on the right path,” he said.

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