Game 1 of the 2019 Western Conference finals did not go so well for the Portland Trail Blazers. Despite playing without Kevin Durant, the Golden State Warriors cruised to a 116-94 victory on Tuesday night to take a 1-0 series lead.
With the Trail Blazers opting to have their bigs sink into the paint on pick-and-rolls, Steph Curry had all sorts of freedom, and used it to drain nine 3-pointers and score 36 points. Klay Thompson also stepped up, delivering 26 points to help out his backcourt partner. Meanwhile, on the other side, the Blazers’ star backcourt struggled. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum nearly had more turnovers than baskets, as they turned the ball over 10 times compared to 11 made field goals.
The Trail Blazers will need not only a new defensive game plan for Game 2, but better performances from their leading men if they want to steal a game on the road.
How to watch Trail Blazers vs. Warriors Game 2
- Date: Thursday, May 16
- Time: 9 p.m. ET
- Location: Oracle Arena — Oakland, California
- TV channel: ESPN
- Live stats: GameTracker
- Odds: Warriors -7.5 (Over/Under 218)
All games in the Western Conference finals will air on ESPN.
Odds and Analysis
Check Sportsline’s NBA pick sheet for all your daily odds.
Trail Blazers: Despite a confounding defensive game plan, poor performances from both Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum and a whopping 21 turnovers, the Blazers actually managed to hang around for much of Game 1. They even had the deficit down to six points for a brief moment early in the fourth quarter, but as the final result showed, that wasn’t sustainable. Still, it could perhaps give them a bit of confidence moving forward that if they clean things up they can compete with the Warriors. It may not be enough to win against the more talented and experienced bunch, but the Blazers can play far better than they did in Game 1. They’ll need to prove that on Thursday night, though. Otherwise they’ll be in a really tough spot.
Warriors: The Warriors are still the Warriors, even without Kevin Durant. His absence let the team revert to the style that made them so popular a few years ago, as Steve Kerr put the ball in Steph Curry’s hands and let him run the show. The result was a thrilling performance from the two-time MVP and a 22-point win in Game 1. With Durant likely out for Game 2, we should expect more of the same from the Warriors. They’re the better team, and they proved it on Tuesday night. But can they keep it up? We’ve seen throughout the regular season and in the first two rounds of the playoffs that they get a bit lackadaisical and are prone to let-down games.
Game prediction, pick
The Blazers likely won’t let Steph Curry walk into however many 3s he wants in Game 2, but there’s a reason the Warriors were heavy favorites in this series. It may not be as easy as Game 1, where they were in cruise control for the second half, but they’re the better team, and they should defend home court and go up 2-0.