Warriors, Blazers aim to rebound from losses
The longtime Pacific Coast rivals will be meeting for the first time this season, with Portland coming off a 143-100 drubbing at Milwaukee on Wednesday night, while the Warriors were getting thumped at home by Oklahoma City, 123-95.
Durant, who contributed to a poor Warriors night on 3-pointers by going 1-for-5, knew exactly what went wrong after the game.
“We just aren’t scoring the ball well,” he observed. “It is tough for us to find the rim right now — 95 points, we don’t really want that. We just haven’t been shooting the ball well.”
The Warriors were leading the league in scoring before the skid, during which they’ve topped 95 points just once. They now find themselves seventh at 115.4 points per game, one spot ahead of the Trail Blazers (114.2).
Both teams have gone over 100 points in 12 of the last 13 meetings, with the home team sweeping last year’s three-game season series by averaging 119.3 points.
The teams haven’t met since last March, when the Trail Blazers recorded a 125-108 home.
Portland has to hope the two-time defending champs don’t recall that defeat, because the Bucks sure hadn’t forgotten their previous game against the Trail Blazers when they got a rematch Wednesday.
Portland beat Milwaukee 118-103 two weeks earlier.
“We got our (butts) kicked,” Portland coach Terry Stotts blurted to reporters Wednesday. “Milwaukee played well. (The Bucks) were ready for us after what happened in Portland. We got off to a slow start, and it got worse from there.”
A Trail Blazers visit to Oakland means a homecoming for star guard Damian Lillard, an Oakland native.
The schedule-makers did Lillard a favor by scheduling the Trail Blazers a game at Golden State on the day after Thanksgiving. It allowed Lillard to visit family and friends on the holiday.
Whether his family and friends were watching in person or on television, Lillard put on a show in all three matchups with the Warriors last season.
He averaged 36.0 points in the two home wins, making four 3-pointers in each, and surely wasn’t to blame for the 111-104 loss at Golden State in January, pouring in 39 points on a night when he connected on five 3-pointers.
He’s lost six in a row in Oakland, and has saved most of his big outbursts against the Warriors for home games. He had a 51-point explosion against the Warriors in a home win in February of 2016.