What we learned as Dubs crush Blazers, clinch playoff spot


PORTLAND, Ore. -- The Warriors closed the 2022-23 NBA regular season exactly how they hoped.

They punched their playoff ticket with a dominant 157-101 blowout win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday at Moda Center, did so injury-free and made history along the way.

Steph Curry scored 26 points in just 22 minutes. Klay Thompson also played 22 minutes and scored 20 points after a red-hot start, and Jordan Poole added 21 points in 17 minutes off the bench. The three of them combined to shoot 23 of 38 from the field and 15 of 26 on 3-pointers.

That's a casual 67 points on 61 percent from the field and 58 percent on threes.

As a team, the Warriors shot 60.4 percent from the field and 55.1 percent from long distance. In all facets of the game, the defending NBA champions owned the short-handed Blazers.

Now, the real season begins for the Warriors, who finished with a 44-38 record and earned a first-round date with the Pacific Division champion Sacramento Kings, whom are coached by old friend Mike Brown and also have former Golden State star Harrison Barnes on their roster.

Here are three takeaways from the Warriors' regular-season finale.

Mr. 300

Klay Thompson came into Sunday night needing five 3-pointers to reach 300 threes on the season. All he needed to reach the historic mark was five minutes. At the 7:20 mark of the first quarter, Thompson knocked down his fifth triple of the game, giving him exactly 300 on the final game of the regular season.

There's no doubt Thompson knew how many threes he needed coming into Sunday night. He took care of business in a hurry. His fifth 3-pointer gave him 17 points in the first quarter on 6-of-7 shooting.

It also made him only the third player in NBA history to make 300 or more threes in a single season, joining Steph Curry and James Harden as the other two players to do so. Curry has done so four times in his career, and Harden once. Thompson's previous season-high was 276 in the 2015-16 season.

He finished the night making six 3-pointers, going 6 of 11 beyond the arc. His 301 threes on the season are the sixth-most in NBA history. Curry holds four of the other top spots, including the most ever, when he made 402 in 2015-16.

More history made

While his shots held the most historic weight, Thompson wasn't alone in making it rain for the Warriors throughout the first quarter. Everybody joined the action. And that isn't an exaggeration.

Nine Warriors saw action in the first quarter, and nine Warriors scored. Thompson led the charge with his 17 points, and Jordan Poole gave Golden State 12 off the bench. Four Warriors -- Thompson, Curry, Poole and Moses Moody -- nailed a 3-pointer.

Overall, the Warriors shot 69 percent (20 of 29) from the field in the first quarter and 66.7 percent (12 of 18) from downtown. That led to 55 first-quarter points, another historic number for the Warriors. Their 55 points are the most in NBA history for a first quarter.

Plus, the Warriors' 12 3-pointers tied an NBA record for the most by a team in any quarter.

The trio of Curry, Thompson and Poole ended with the most 3-pointers in a single season in NBA history for three players on the same team. Curry wound up with 273, Thompson with 301 and Poole with 214, giving the three a combined 788.

Welcome back

Maybe it's jealousy, maybe it's forever wondering "what if." Either way, Blazers fans didn't give Gary Payton II the warmest welcome back to Portland.

Whenever he checked into the game, Payton was met with a handful of boos from the home crowd.

Prior to the game, Blazers coach Chauncey Billups praised Payton intelligence on both ends of the floor and his ability to make things easier for his teammates. His first game back in Portland since being traded back to the Warriors was a reminder of what Payton brings to the court.

RELATED: Billups not surprised by GP2's immediate Warriors impact

He had two steals in the first quarter, and totaled four on the night. Payton also had eight rebounds, four assists and four points. His final tune up wasn’t even the tip of the iceberg for how Payton will be unleashed in the playoffs.

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