Trail Blazers vs Warriors: Game 2 Score, Twitter Reaction from 2016 NBA Playoffs – Bleacher Report

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A postseason cliche is that a series doesn’t really start until the road team steals a game, but the clash between the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers already feels over after the home team won the first two contests.

The Trail Blazers took an 11-point lead into the fourth quarter of Tuesday’s Game 2 but proceeded to lose 110-99. The Warriors looked overmatched for the majority of the game but then reminded everyone just how dangerous they are—even without the injured Stephen Curry—with a 34-12 fourth quarter:

Golden State got some timely offense from Klay Thompson and Draymond Green down the stretch, but it was its defense that dictated the tone. It held Damian Lillard scoreless in the fourth quarter after he was red-hot during the third and tied a franchise record, per ESPN Stats & Info:

Thompson led the way on the offensive end with 27 points, but it was Green who facilitated much of the comeback with his versatile ball-handling and passing. He finished with 17 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and four blocks and spearheaded a massive push at the end, per Kevin Pelton of ESPN:

Portland is still only a couple of home wins away from making this a series again. However, they are likely deflated after blowing a double-digit lead in the final 12 minutes on Tuesday, especially after a 118-106 loss in Game 1. Lillard finished with a team-high 25 points, while backcourt mate C.J. McCollum added 22 points.

Despite the loss, the Trail Blazers made the necessary early adjustments after the Warriors outscored them in the first quarter of Game 1, 37-17. Portland jumped out to a commanding 19-5 lead within the opening six minutes and looked set to win one on the road.

The Trail Blazers were pushing the ball in transition and dictating the pace on the offensive end, but it was a defensive matchup that helped them establish early control, via Nate Duncan of The Cauldron:

Maurice Harkless was forced to the bench with his second foul, but Portland still built a 34-21 lead by the end of the first quarter behind 10 points from Al-Farouq Aminu and 66.7 percent shooting from the entire team. What’s more, Lillard hadn’t even made an impact on the game with only three points. 

Portland continued its hot shooting in the second and stretched the lead to 42-26 after a Gerald Henderson three. Dwight Jaynes of Comcast SportsNet Northwest reacted to the start after the Trail Blazers shot a mere 40 percent from the field and 32 percent from deep in the Game 1 loss:

Golden State needed a spark, which is what it received from a Harrison Barnes slam:

From there, the Warriors went on their seemingly inevitable run and cut the lead to 49-46. Tim Bontemps of the Washington Post said the “Warriors upped the degree of difficulty in this game, but the result will be the same,” but Portland showcased its mental toughness and answered with a spurt of its own to take a 59-51 advantage into the halftime locker room.

Harkless continued to bother Thompson on the defensive end early in the second half and even drew a technical foul from the Golden State star. Andy Liu of SB Nation said, “Not sure when was last time I saw Klay this frustrated,” but Harkless went to the bench with his fourth foul with Portland up seven.

To Portland’s credit, it fought through the foul trouble and continued to answer every Warriors charge well into the third quarter. Lillard put the vistors up 72-64 with a jumper with just more than five minutes until the fourth, and Mike Richman of the Oregonian praised the Trail Blazers for their resiliency:

Portland seemed to shift from holding-off-Golden-State mode into winning mode in the final two minutes of the third. Lillard drilled two threes, and Henderson hit another, which put Portland ahead 87-76. Lillard scored 17 points in the quarter and silenced the crowd at the buzzer:

That momentum didn’t last long, and the Warriors responded by cutting the deficit to 91-86 with less than eight minutes left in the game. Festus Ezeli finally saw some consistent minutes during the stretch and scored six points as he helped set the stage for the comeback. 

Thompson eventually broke free and drilled a three from the corner to tie the game at 91, and Matt Moore of CBS Sports recognized the 9-0 run meant it was danger time for the Trail Blazers:

Golden State then seized the 96-95 lead and took advantage of 17 turnovers from Portland. Jaynes pointed to a problem for the visitors as the Warriors began to take control:

It was Thompson and Green leading much of the late charge for the Warriors, but Duncan didn’t overlook the critical six rebounds and block from Ezeli after he didn’t even see the court in Game 1:

The unstoppable Warriors machine was fully activated by the time Shaun Livingston connected on a fadeaway from the high post to put Golden State up 102-95 with just more than two minutes remaining. The Warriors’ length was bothering Portland on the defensive end, and they continued to apply the pressure on offense with Green resembling a point guard at times with his passing from the key.

The Trail Blazers looked deflated as time gradually expired and never truly threatened in the final two minutes. At least they get an opportunity to battle back at home in the next two games. 


What’s Next?

Game 3 in this second-round series is set for Saturday in Portland.

The Trail Blazers’ only realistic chance to advance is with wins in Games 3 and 4, which would make it a best-of-three matchup. Of course, the Warriors were an NBA-best 34-7 on the road in 2015-16, so that is not exactly an easy task.

Golden State has taken control of the series without reigning MVP Curry on the floor. They are apparently hoping he returns for Game 3, per Janie McCauley of the Associated Press, via, but they now have some breathing room in the series and don’t have to rush him back.

Golden State only lost nine games during the 82-game regular season. It is probably not going to lose four of the next five against the Trail Blazers, even if Curry never steps on the floor.


Postgame Reaction

Thompson discussed the comeback effort after the game, via NBA TV:

Warriors coach Steve Kerr specifically recognized Green’s overall leadership on the floor as he commented on the Game 2 win, via NBA TV:

Kerr also praised Ezeli’s impact, per Rusty Simmons of the San Francisco Chronicle: “He changed the whole game w/ his pick-and-roll defense, his presence around the rim and the energy he gave us.”

As for the Trail Blazers, Lillard reflected on the missed opportunity, per Ben Golliver of Sports Illustrated: “Nights like tonight, they suck. It hurts.”

Lillard provided more details on the late collapse, via NBA TV:

McCollum wasn’t interested in any moral victories, via NBA TV:

If Portland doesn’t start earning actual victories, this series will be over quickly.

Trail Blazers vs Warriors: Game 2 Score, Twitter Reaction from 2016 NBA Playoffs – Bleacher Report