Trail Blazers vs Warriors Wednesday, 04/13/11 AT 07:30PM

Playoffs Set, Mills Scores Career High In Loss To Warriors

04/13/11
  1. Written by: ShalamarClark  / avg. rating: 4.5

    The No. 6 Portland Trail Blazers will meet the No. 3 Dallas Mavericks in the first round of the 2011 NBA Playoffs.

    The Trail Blazers (48-34) waited anxiously to see who they would face going into the playoffs after Wednesday’s 110-86 loss to the Golden State (36-46) at Oracle Arena.

    The Los Angeles Lakers (57-25) sent the Mavericks (57-25), who had beaten the Hornets earlier Wednesday, back down into the third seat after outlasting the Sacramento Kings in overtime on the road.

    “It’s going to be tough,” said LaMarcus Aldridge. “Dallas is a very, very good team.”

    Against the Warriors, Patty Mills scored a career-high 23 points and made four 3-pointers, but it wasn’t enough to extend the Trail Blazers’ three-game streak after the team finished shooting 34 percent from the floor.

    “It was a good chance for me personally to go out there and have some fun and get some minutes, get up and down the court the a little bit,” said Mills. “Most likely we’ll be playing a lot different in the playoffs than we did tonight, so it was just one of those opportunities to go out there and have some fun.”

    Reggie Williams led the Warriors, who shot 51 percent, with 28 points, including four threes, and made 12-of-18 attempts. He also added seven rebounds and five assists.

    Dorell Wright had 20 points, five rebounds and six assists. Stephen Curry finished with 18 points and nine assists, David Lee posted 13 points and Jeremy Lin chipped in with 12 from the bench.

    “They shot the ball really well and that’s what they’ve done all year long is shoot the ball particularly well,” said Mills of Golden State. “They’ve got a number of shooters that can shoot the ball. When they’re all on fire, they’re a hard team to play against and tonight was one of those nights.”

    The Trail Blazers weren’t in usual form. Head coach Nate McMillan decided to rest Aldridge, Gerald Wallace, Nicolas Batum, Brandon Roy and Marcus Camby. Wesley Matthews and Andre Miller were the only original starters who saw action. 

    Matthews scored 13 of his 18 points in the first quarter and hit three from deep to end with four 3-pointers in 24 minutes. Miller played just seven minutes and tallied four points.

    “What we wanted to do tonight was get some work in and allow some of our guys to play,” said McMillan. “They got good minutes and we were able to see some things tonight. We were able to sit out some guys that have injuries or soreness. Now we can get prepared for whoever we are going to face this weekend.”

    With the starting lineup of Miller, Matthews, Chris Johnson, Rudy Fernandez and Earl Barron, Portland ended the first quarter shooting 13-of-25 from the floor to trail 30-28.

    Williams totaled 13 points in the first half and kept Golden State at 22-of-45 shooting as the Trail Blazers slumped 5-of-22 in the second. Portland managed to complete 15-19 free throws by halftime to withstand a 51-45 hole.

    “I though we turned the ball over towards the end of the third quarter which allowed them to score points,” said McMillan of Portland’s 21 giveaways. “That is the thing that has hurt us against the Warriors every time we play them.”

    Luke Babbitt recorded a double-double with 11 point and 11 rebounds for Portland. Armon Johnson had 12 points and scored eight straight points in the second quarter to cut Golden State’s eight-point lead down to 45-41.

    Chris Johnson and Barron tied for a game-high 13 rebounds. Johnson added eight points and Barron scored five. 

    Mills scored 11 points in the third and knocked in a pair of threes to answer deep buckets from Curry and Wright. Matthews’ 3-pointer tallied Portland’s fifth straight shot from long rane to pull within seven before going into the fourth down 85-69.      

    “The important thing tonight was for them to go out and play hard,” said McMillan. “Try and learn the system as far as things that we like to do and get some time out on the floor.”

    The Warriors closed the regular season winning the series after beating the Trail Blazers 3-1.

    Portland will turn its attention to Dallas to prepare for the opening round.

    “We’ve got to control Dirk (Nowitzki), (Jason) Terry, (Jason) Kidd… their whole team basically, “ said Aldridge. “We’ve got to try and keep them off fast break points and try to make every shot difficult. We’ll come up with a game plan to try and give ourselves the best chance to win.”

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