BC-BKN--Trail Blazers-Warriors,1st Ld-Writethru
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — Stephen Curry scored 37 points, and the Golden State Warriors rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit before holding off the Portland Trail Blazers for a 114-111 win Thursday night and a 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.
CJ McCollum missed a driving jumper with 32 seconds left and Draymond Green scored on the other end for the Warriors, giving Portland one final chance with 12.3 seconds to go. Andre Iguodala then blocked a 3-point attempt by Damian Lillard on the left wing.
Seth Curry, Steph’s little brother, put Portland ahead on a 3-pointer with 1:03 left before Kevon Looney’s dunk on the other end put Golden State back on top at 112-111.
Stephen Curry posted his third straight 30-point performance while Splash Brother Klay Thompson needed a half to heat up, scoring 13 of his 24 points in the Warriors’ 39-point third quarter — reminiscent of those old third-quarter outbursts that have long defined this group.
McCollum scored 22 points for Portland and Lillard overcame a slow start to add 23 points and 10 assists as the Blazers looked far more in sync than in a 116-94 defeat two days earlier.
Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is Saturday night at Portland.
Green made a pretty bounce pass through the paint to a cutting Iguodala for a dunk with 3:06 left to make it 108-105, then Green assisted on a layup by Looney the next possession.
Green had 16 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks. His seven straight playoff games with at least 10 rebounds are a career high.
The Warriors missed Kevin Durant for a third straight game because of a strained right calf and he isn’t likely to return at all this round.
Curry scored Golden State’s first eight points of the third to get his team back within 69-58 then Thompson hit two straight 3s.
The Blazers had built a 65-50 halftime lead, capitalizing on 10 Warriors turnovers for 18 points.
Then two of the top backcourts in the Western Conference went at it in an entertaining final two quarters. The game was tied at 89 to start the fourth.
The Warriors already got past James Harden and Chris Paul in the last round — now it’s McCollum and Lillard standing in the way of a fifth straight trip to the NBA Finals.
“They’re a nightmare to have to cover,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said before the game.
Curry made 5 of his initial 8 shots but Thompson struggled in the first half at 3 for 11 and missed 3 of 4 3-point tries.
Portland showed it made adjustments from Game 1 and came out with energy on both ends from the opening tip after the Blazers had regularly left Curry wide open on the perimeter off the pick-and-roll and he scored 36 points while matching his postseason high with nine 3-pointers.
Durant will miss at least Games 3 and 4, scheduled to be re-examined by doctors in another week. That means he wouldn’t be expected to return until the NBA Finals if Golden State advances.
Durant was re-evaluated Thursday and is not yet ready for on-court work — a necessary step before the two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP can return to game action.
Golden State center DeMarcus Cousins will be re-evaluated again in a week as he works back from a strained left quadriceps muscle sustained in Game 2 of the first round against the Clippers on April 15 in just his second career playoff game.
Cousins has begun doing extensive on-court work such as running, shooting and agility moves.
Trail Blazers: Seth Curry stole the ball from big brother Steph in the second quarter. They are the first brothers to ever face each other in a conference final. ... The Blazers are 1-10 all-time against Golden State in the playoffs.
Warriors: The Warriors are 31-4 in the postseason when Curry scores 30 or more points. ... Golden State shot 3 of 13 from deep in the first half and 9 for 29 overall on 3s. ... The Warriors are 15-4 in Game 2 of postseason series dating to the 2015 title run.
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