Trail Blazers vs Jazz Thursday, 04/07/11 AT 07:30PM

Warrior Trio, Cold Second Half Down Trail Blazers

04/05/11
  1. Written by: Grant Lucas  / avg. rating: 4.0

    Paced by Monta Ellis's game-high 30 points and David Lee's 29-point, 20-rebound performance, the Golden State Warriors (34-44) broke things wide open in the third quarter, leading by as many as 26 points before settling for a 108-87 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers (45-33) at the Rose Garden on Tuesday night.

    "Tonight was bad," Head Coach Nate McMillan said. "It was just one of those nights where we started off bad. Six turnovers in the first quarter which is one of the things you cannot do against this team. Shooting never came around. A bad game. This is one of those games where you burn the tape and move on."

    The Warriors outscored Portland 61-40 in the second half, shooting nearly 57 percent from the floor and outrebounding the Trail Blazers 27-17. Portland didn't fare so well, finishing 14-for-43 in the half and 3-for-13 from three-point range. For the game, the Trail Blazers made just three out of 21 attempts.

    "We didn't turn the ball over the second half, but I thought we looked a little tired the whole game, just not reacting," McMillan said. "We looked a little winded early in the first quarter and they pretty much had their rhythm, their tempo and it was just one of those games where you can't explain it. I can't explain it."

    Helping Ellis and Lee out was Stephen Curry, who totaled 28 points and eight boards while also getting two steals and four assists.

    "We took what the defense gave us, and my shots were just going down," Ellis said of the third quarter offense. "We made a lot of tough shots, and made a lot of big shots, and tonight was just our night. We never took our foot off of the pedal, and we rode it all the way out for the last 24 minutes in the second half and pulled away."

    For the Trail Blazers, it was LaMarcus Aldridge and Wesley Matthews leading the way, with each tallying 17 points - Aldridge added 12 boards to his stat line. Nicolas Batum chipped in with 15 points off the bench, while Andre Miller and Gerald Wallace finished with 12 and 10 points, respectively.

    "We have (games like this)," Aldridge said. "We just have to bounce back, get some practice. We'll be okay, I think. Guys just missed shots. We had a lot of open looks that they gave us - from the three, from the two - and we just missed lay-ups and open shots."

    The Trail Blazer bench outscored Golden State's reserves 31-13, but Portland's starters were no match for the Warriors' trio of scorers, who combined for 87 points of Golden State's 108 points.

    Despite the loss, Portland earned its third straight postseason berth thanks to the Houston Rockets dropping one to the Sacramento Kings on Tuesday, but Aldridge said the Trail Blazers need to keep improving.

    "(Making the postseason) was one of our goals so that's good for us," he said. "But we have to keep building, keep finding our rhythm to move forward."

    Portland went on an 8-0 run early on to grab a 19-15 lead, but six first-quarter turnovers led to nine Warrior points and allowed Golden State to hang around despite shooting just 35 percent.

    In the second quarter, Aldridge buried a baseline jumper just before the buzzer to even things up at 47 heading into the half, as the Trail Blazers shot 50 percent from the floor but went 0-for-8 beyond the arc. Led by Ellis' 17 points, the Warriors hit three of their five three-pointers and shot 44.4 percent.

    Golden State held a two-point edge when Matthews hit a three-pointer, but a 13-1 spurt put the Warriors up 80-66 with Ellis and Lee combining for 11 of those 13 points.

    Portland eventually found themselves down by 16 at the end of the third, thanks to a 2-for-15 mark from the floor, while Golden State hit 12 of its 15 attempts en route to a 37-point third quarter while holding the Trail Blazers to 21.

    With the Warriors continuing to crash the offensive glass and Portland continuing to struggle from the field, the Trail Blazers could never recover from the deep hole they were placed in, falling 108-87.

    McMillan said that this game was simply a loss, saying "we played bad" and that "we've played better." Aldridge agreed.

    "The loss just hurts because we played so bad," he said. "We didn't play good offensively and then offensively for them, they did whatever they wanted to do."

    Aldridge continued, saying that Portland needs to quickly bounce back from this defeat.

    "We have to," he said. "You can't think about it. We have to move passed it and get better."

    The Trail Blazers head out to Salt Lake City for a brief road trip to wrap up the season series with the Utah Jazz (36-42).

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