Blazers

Blazers Spoil Game 2 with 2nd Half Collapse

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The word for Game 2 of the Western Conference finals is adjustments. Portland needed to make adjustments on the defensive end after Steph Curry’s incredible performance in Game 1. They needed to make adjustments on the offensive end after their abysmal shooting. How did they do it? Let’s see.

From the tip, Portland’s decision to close the gap they left on Golden State’s pick and rolls paid off. They had a much easier time fighting over the top of screens with their bigs trailing close behind. Their ability to constantly pressure The Bay’s high-clip shooters forced Golden State to shoot 23% from three in the first half.

2nd Half Collapse

Going into the third quarter with a 15-point lead, the Blazers looked poised to steal a win on the road. But in true Warriors fashion, they clawed back into the game thanks to Steph. Portland’s defensive intensity didn’t wither nonetheless there were holes in their scheme.

 

The perimeter defense was active all night, but they left the paint wide open. The team gave up 54 points in the paint many off direct line drives and Draymond Green lobs. Adjustments.

The bench continued their push toward victory (outscoring GS’s bench 40-33) until the last second. The star of Portland pine, Seth Curry hustled, crowded and played an incredible game. He was the best defender on Steph, picking his pocket on multiple occasions, doing his best impression of a Curry “stopper”. He closed the night with 16 points, four steals (all from his brother), and a +13 plus-minus.

Rip City played near perfect stretches. They did nothing to beat themselves another testament to their opponent. They were on track to shoot 50-40-90 for the game until things got unhinged. The Blazers would shoot 38% from the field for the remainder of the game.

Lillard and McCollum Struggle Down the Stretch

CJ and Dame would be casualties of the Blazers’ shooting woes. CJ started hot, going 9-of-17 from the field through three quarters. The fourth quarter would be a different story, however, as all six of his shot attempts would fail to hit paydirt. Dame experience a similar struggle, shooting 1-for-5 from inside the arc but 5-for-12 from beyond. Distribution wise, they handed out a combined 15 assists, but shot below 40%.

Portland was bruised but never beaten (yet), as they fended off the champs well into the fourth quarter.

The game became tighter, whistles sounded less frequent, and Andre Iguodala sealed the game with a strip steal of Lillard. Portland leaves for home down 0-2, hoping to turn things around in the Moda Center.

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