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Warriors presented Gary Payton II his ring, then beat Trail Blazers, 118-112


PhilBoxing.com




Golden State will get to ring in a Happy New Year this weekend after a hard-earned victory over the Blazers from Portland, 118-112, on Friday night.

It was another spectacular win for the Warriors who were still without Steph Curry (partial shoulder separation), Andrew Wiggins (adductor strain), and now James Wiseman (tender rolled ankle in practice).

The Warriors seem indestructible at home as their young guns are finding their mark and fulfilling their roles to keep Golden State afloat as they passed the 0.500 mark, improving to 19-18.

With their young guns all humming with their designated roles, the Warriors improved their league-best home record to 16-2 with a 16-2 run in the fourth quarter, recapturing a lost lead they translated into another win.

Before tonight’s game, Draymond Green and company presented Gary Payton II his well-earned 2022 NBA championship ring. At the 1:40 mark of the fourth quarter, GP2 watched from the sidelines in street clothes as Klay Thompson drained a 3-pointer to push the Warriors up 114-111 to seal the win. Payton turned his back as soon as the ball left Thomoson’s fingertips, as if to concede his new team’s defeat.

Golden State started hot by scoring the first 9 points and led as high as 18 points in the first quarter, only to lose the lead starting in the second quarter and well into the third.

Jordan Poole led the charge with 41 points, 5 rebounds, 6 assists and 1 steal as he posted his second 40-plus-point game in his previous 15 games. Poole drained a 3-pointer to get close 110-109 with 2:57 on the clock. He turned the ball over on his next possession, but Jonathan Kuminga made a twin-fisted dunk moments later to recapture the lead.

Of interest, Poole has been the Warriors' leading scorer in 9-of-10 past games without Curry.

Draymond Green posted a double-double with 10 points, 11 rebounds, 4 dimes, and 1 steal. In another vintage defensive sequence, Green blocked a shot and grabbed a rebound just to show the young Warriors how it was done.

Klay was vintage Thompson as he scored 31 points, 5 rebounds, and 2 assists.

As a team, Golden State made 42-of-91 shots (46.2% FG), 17-of-43 treys (39.5% 3-PT), were more efficient at the free-throw line, 81% to 69.6%, and led by as much as 18 points.

Here is how the rest of the Warriors fared: Donte DiVincenzo– 9p/9r/4a/4s, Jonathan Kuminga– 9p/2r/5a/1b, Ty Jerome– 9p/1r/4a/1s/1b, Anthony Lamb– 5p/3r/1a/2s, Kevon Looney – 4p/10r/2a.

Against a formidable Portland team, the Warriors drew from their fountain of youth to notch another improbable win.

Said Steve Kerr on NBA.com: "The team is starting to take shape with (Curry & Wiggins) out. You can see other guys stepping up and winning games. We're setting the table for what's to come when everybody is healthy."



By contrast, Portland, as a team, made 42-of-91 shots (46.2% FG), a below average 12-of-39 treys (30.8% 3-PT), grabbed more rebounds (50-46), had more blocks (5-2), and slightly more points in the paint (48-46), but it was not their night.

With only 8 men on the roster, the Blazers leaned on Damian Lillard who led with 34 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists.

Anfernee Simons added 22, Jeramy Grant 19, Josh Hart 12, Drew Eubanks 8, Trendon Watford 8, Shaedon Sharpe 7, and Jabari Walker 2 points.

Damian Lillard tried his best to rally the Blazers after halftime, only succeeded temporarily as Portland erupted on a 19-9 burst to go ahead 75-69. In the fourth quarter, however, Poole retaliated with 11 points to help Golden State seal the victory.



It was a memorable night for the home team as former Warrior fan-favorite, now a Blazer, Gary Payton II received his 2022 NBA championship ring.



Upcoming:

Golden State Warriors (19-18): Host Atlanta Hawks on Monday night.

Portland Trail Blazers (18-17): Return home for one game to host the Detroit Pistons team Monday night.

Note of Appreciation:

Photos, stats and video are courtesy of the NBA and brought to you by PhilBoxing.com.


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Emmanuel Rivera, RRT.


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