The Portland Trail Blazers made big news after the All-Star break with a 137-105 beatdown of the Golden State Warriors at Moda Center. It remains easily the most impressive of the six wins against the Warriors this season, a dominant showing against the best team in the league with a career-best 51 points for Damian Lillard. It was a statement win that has helped propel Portland to firm playoff position.
It was expected that the Warriors would look for revenge in Friday's rematch at Oracle Arena, but it's not clear anyone was prepared for just how good they would look. Golden State scored 80 points by halftime, the most prolific half of any team this NBA season, and put up 110 through three quarters on their way to a 128-112 win. The Warriors led by as many as 32 in the third quarter.
That's not to say that the Blazers were overwhelmingly poor. In fact, they shot 19-of-36 three-pointers to best their 17 in the February win, joining with the Warriors' 18-of-40 night from beyond the arc to set a new record for combined three-pointers in a single NBA game. The Warriors were also involved in the previous record of 36 set during a matchup with the Orlando Magic exactly five years prior.
It should not be shocking to learn that Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson accounted for 15 of Friday's three-pointers. Thompson was the night's big star, shooting 8-of-11 on threes for a game-high 37 points and a whopping plus-34 in only 32 minutes:
Curry was more in line with his averages, going 7-of-14 from deep for 34 points in 29 minutes:
It remains hard to believe that such a game feels relatively normal for him.
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Curry made individual history, too, becoming the 25th and fastest player to 1,500 three-pointers in a career. His 477 games beat Ray Allen by 184 games, or roughly 2 1/3 seasons. The trends of this era have obviously helped Curry reach that mark so fast, but we're still looking at the best shooter of all time.
Portland has a great shooter of its own in Lillard, and he made history as well by making the 785th triple of his career, breaking Thompson's previous record for the most in a player's first four seasons. Unfortunately for Lillard, his scoring touch eluded for most of the game — he shot just 1-of-10 on twos for 17 points overall.
However, these impressive numbers should not overwhelm the game itself, which saw the Warriors execute their offense as well as they have all season. A team that has looked a little tired recently ran up and down the floor with abandon, finding good shots at every opportunity and flinging pinpoint passes all over the court. It was a reminder that the Warriors' recent problems (chiefly exhaustion and turnovers) are issues most teams deal with as a matter of course. Just about the only thing that went wrong on Friday was a late injury for essential reserve Andre Iguodala. X-rays on his left ankle were negative, though, and he's been listed as questionable with a sprain for Saturday's game with the struggling Phoenix Suns.
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