Warriors Observations

What we learned as Warriors beat Blazers, jump to No. 9 in West

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The short-handed Warriors were challenged until the final minute Thursday night at Moda Center, before staving off the Portland Trail Blazers 100-92 for yet another crucial win.

All tied at 86 points apiece at the 6:25 mark in the fourth quarter, the Warriors outscored the Blazers 14-6 down the stretch. Golden State now (45-35) is the Western Conference's No. 9 seed, leapfrogging the Los Angeles Lakers (45-35) with the win by virtue of the head-to-head tiebreaker.

Steph Curry’s 22 points led the Warriors, but the star sharpshooter was only 8 of 22 from the field and 5 of 16 on 3-pointers. He also contributed eight assists, seven rebounds, two blocks and one steal.

Jonathan Kuminga (19 points), Andrew Wiggins (15 points) and Trayce Jackson-Davis (10 points) were the only other Warriors in double figures.

The Warriors, one game after making threes at an historic pace, shot 34.3 percent beyond the arc in the Pacific Northwest. But the Blazers (21-59) were worse. They finished 8 of 34 on threes for a lowly 23.5 percent.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors’ third straight win.


Down Klay Thompson, Draymond Green and Gary Payton II, the Warriors had to play a clean game and instead gave the Blazers chance after chance to hang around. They played like a team that thought they could waltz into the Blazers’ home and walk away with an easy win. As if they hadn’t learned their lesson already this season. On countless occasions, too.

The Warriors’ affinity for turning the ball over was baffling at times Thursday night. They cleaned it up in the fourth quarter, but their sloppy play is what had the Blazers hanging around.

Golden State gave the ball away 16 times, which turned into 19 points by the Blazers. The Warriors scored 14 points off 13 Blazers turnovers. Midway through the third quarter, the Warriors were yet to score a point off a turnover while the Blazers already had 15 such points.

Portland put up 20 more shot attempts than the Warriors, and had 13 more second-chance points.

Stay Ready

Kevon Looney was the lone healthy Warrior to receive a DNP-CD (Did Not Play, Coach’s Decision) in Tuesday night’s road win against the Lakers. Moses Moody sat until the final two minutes. Both received action in the first quarter two nights later.

And both gave vital contributions to a team down three key contributors. Especially Looney. 

Looney was a game-high plus-19 in 20 minutes off the bench. His 20 minutes played were his most since Jan. 12. Looney scored nine points, his most since Feb. 7, grabbed a team-high 11 rebounds, his most since Dec. 23, and swatted away a season-high four blocks. 

This was yet another example of Looney being the ultimate pro’s pro. When he’s needed, Steve Kerr knows he can always rely on Looney as much as anyone.

Moody played 21 minutes off the bench and was a plus-8 behind an eight-point performance.

Block Party

Looney wasn’t even the only Warrior to record four blocks, too. Rookie Trayce Jackson-Davis joined him there too, tying a career high. 

The Warriors tallied 12 blocks Tuesday and followed that up with 13 against the Blazers, tying a season-high. They came into Tuesday’s win against the Lakers averaging only 4.4 blocks per game. Size will continue to be a question and worry for the Warriors until the season comes to an end.

Here’s a way to ease those worries. Jackson-Davis now has four games with four blocks this season. That’s the most since Kevin Durant recorded eight such games in 2017-18. Five Warriors had at least one block on the Blazers, including three with multiple blocks.

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