Days of the Warriors dominating third quarters are long gone. For the second straight game, and the umpteenth time this season, the Warriors on Sunday saw a huge lead evaporate in the blink of an eye.
But also for the second straight game, the Warriors overcame their own frustrations, this time taking down the Portland Trail Blazers 118-114 at Moda Center. The win snapped a seven-game losing streak on the road, and also gave the Warriors their first back-to-back wins since the first two games of November.
Stay in the game with the latest updates on your beloved Bay Area and California sports teams! Sign up here for our All Access Daily newsletter.
And the win came on a night where a historic streak came to a close.
One night after scoring 37 points and making six 3-pointers, Steph Curry was held to a season-low seven points on 2-of-12 shooting. He took eight 3s and missed all eight. Curry came into the night making a 3-pointer in 268 consecutive games. The last regular-season game he played and didn’t make a 3 in was Nov. 8, 2018.
Curry has carried the Warriors countless times this season. His teammates on Sunday had his back and picked him up.
Rookie Brandin Podziemski continued to be the king of charges, taking one with 0.6 seconds remaining to save Curry and the Warriors. Klay Thompson lit up the Blazers for a team-high 28 points, and Andrew Wiggins answered the call off the bench, scoring 25 points.
Golden State Warriors
Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ four-point win.
Klay’s Happy Place
Though he has spent his entire NBA career as a Warrior, Thompson’s three basketball homes are Los Angeles, Portland and the Bay. And his last three games show how comfortable he is shooting in all three places.
Thompson dropped 30 points Thursday night in LA on 9-of-15 shooting and 8 of 12 on 3s. Two nights later, he came home to Chase Center for a 24-point performance on 7-of-19 shooting and went 4 of 9 from deep. Entering Sunday, Thompson had shot 47 percent on 3-pointers in Portland, his best in any opponent’s arena.
History stayed on his side, too, as Thompson kept his hand warm in Oregon. He scored early and often, ending with 28 points on 11-of-16 shooting and was 5 of 10 behind the 3-point line.
Over the last three games, in his three NBA homes, Thompson now has scored 82 points on 27 of 50 from the field (54.0 percent) and has made 17 of his 31 from 3-point range (56.7 percent).
Ask and you shall receive. As outside voices have been pounding the table for more Trayce Jackson-Davis minutes, the rookie center displayed in the second quarter why more opportunities might be coming his way.
Dario Šarić picked up his third foul of the first half at the 8:22 mark in the second quarter. Warriors coach Steve Kerr then called Jackson-Davis’ number and stuck with the 23-year-old the rest of the half. How did Jackson-Davis respond?
By being a plus-7 with eight points, two assists, two steals and one rebound. The Warriors simply don’t have another player at the center position who can bring this kind of element to Golden State’s offense around the rim.
Jackson-Davis’ eight-plus minutes in the second quarter were his most in an entire NBA game in the last three-and-a-half weeks. He then sat the entire third quarter, one where the Warriors saw their double-digit lead whittled away yet again. Jackson-Davis started the fourth quarter and didn’t see the bench again until the 2:41 mark.
The final result was being a plus-8 in 18 minutes. Jackson-Davis scored a career-high 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting and snatched eight rebounds.
Hats Off To Wiggins
Being relegated to the bench is never easy. It happening to a former No. 1 overall draft pick who is a former All-Star and NBA champion in his ninth pro season has to be incredibly frustrating, which is why Wiggins deserves so much credit for his showing Sunday night.
The version of Wiggins who traveled to the Pacific Northwest is the exact one the Warriors need the rest of the season. Wiggins scored at the rim and as a 3-point weapon. His 25 points were his third most of the season, going 9 of 12 from the field, 4 of 6 on 3s and 3 of 4 on free throws. That’s efficiency in all aspects.
He made three buckets in the paint, as well as three 3-pointers in the left corner.
Wiggins also gave Golden State seven rebounds, tied for his second-most this season. Now it’s about consistency, but the Warriors might have unlocked the Wiggins they have been waiting for.