Warriors beat Blazers to avenge earlier loss this week
By NICK DASCHEL
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) A road game for the Golden State Warriors felt a little like home for Klay Thompson.
Perhaps that helped him shoot his way out of a slump.
Thompson, who grew up in Portland as the son of former Trail Blazer Mychal Thompson, scored 32 points Saturday night to lead Golden State to a 115-105 victory.
Thompson broke out by hitting 12 of 21 shots, going 4 of 5 from 3-point range. At one point after making a 3-pointer, Thompson began talking to his right hand.
What did Thompson say?
"I missed you. It's good to see you again," Thompson said. "It's been a five-game absence or so where he hasn't been in the game, so to finally see the ball go in at a high rate felt really good."
Golden State coach Steve Kerr said there wasn't anything different about Thompson's game. He was merely due.
"Shots just went in," Kerr said. "I didn't think the quality of his shot attempts looked that much better. I think the law of averages just took over."
If there's a place outside Oakland where Thompson feels most comfortable, it's Portland's Moda Center, known as the Rose Garden during his childhood.
"It's like a second home here. I was very fortunate to come to a lot of Blazer games at the Rose Garden," Thompson said. "To be back here playing for my family is surreal. It feels like I'm getting old. It feels like yesterday I was back in these hallways trying to snag autographs. It's always a pleasure to come back here."
Damian Lillard hit six 3-pointers and scored 40 points. It was the fifth time this season Lillard, who made the go-ahead 3-pointer in the victory at Oracle Arena, has scored at least 40 points.
Golden State avenged that loss with improved shooting and better defense. The Warriors shot 50 percent from the floor (40 of 80), and made 12 of 25 from 3-point range.
Durant was 10 of 19 from the floor, while Kevin Looney was 5 of 6, and made his first 3-pointer of the season.
Kerr said it made a difference on defense to expand his rotation to 11 players Saturday.
"I didn't like what I did the other night, playing eight guys," Kerr said. "I thought everybody who stepped on the floor did a really good job for us."
Jusuf Nurkic finished with 21 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists for the Blazers.
Leading 30-27 after one quarter, Golden State scored the first 10 points of the second, including seven consecutive by Curry. Golden State led by as many as 17 points during the first half, settling for a 58-50 halftime lead.
But the Warriors lost Andre Iguodala at halftime after he was ejected for hurling the ball deep into the end zone seats at the buzzer.
Though Lillard scored 20 points during the third quarter, Golden State increased its lead to 93-83. The Warriors led by as many as 18 points in the fourth before holding off a late Portland rally.
"We kept battling. I thought we made some good comebacks, but in the end, we let our guard down a few times. When you let your guard down, they take advantage of it," Portland coach Terry Stotts said.
Warriors: Golden State, 6 of 15 from the free throw line during Thursday's game, made its first 10 Saturday, and went 23 of 28 overall. ... The Warriors had three technical fouls in the game, including one on Durant for hanging on the rim.
Trail Blazers: Lillard's fifth 40-point game this season ties a career high. He also scored 40 points five times during the 2016-17 season.
After Iguodala's heave into the stands at the end of the first half, officials spent more than a minute at a courtside monitor before deeming his throw a "hostile act," warranting an ejection.
"Andre said he was just shooting the ball," Kerr said. "It wasn't a very good shot. Went a little long."
Warriors: Monday night at Phoenix
Trail Blazers: Sunday night at home against Philadelphia.
Updated December 30, 2018