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NBA Playoffs — Warriors stun Blazers with late surge to take 2-0 lead (PHOTOS)

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OAKLAND — When Myers Leonard drilled a 30-foot 3 to put the Portland Trail Blazers ahead 108-100 with 4:28 to go in Game 2 of the 2019 Western Conference Finals, it appeared that they were about to pull off a giant road heist and knot the best-of-7 series at 1-1

But the two-time defending champion Golden State Warriors had other ideas and altered the plot with a 14-3 flurry that allowed them to escape with a narrow 114-111 victory and grab a 2-0 lead over the stunned Blazers on Friday morning (Philippine time) at the jampacked Oracle Arena.

After a tepid start in which they surrendered 65 points at the half and trailed 67-50 early in the third quarter, the Warriors, who are gunning for a historic three consecutive championships, didn\’t panic and slowly chipped away at their deficit until finally catching up at 89-89 at the end of the third quarter.

\”Our experience really paid off for us tonight and having a bunch of guys who just won\’t quit,\” Draymond Green told reporters after the huge comeback win. Green barely missed a triple-double effort with 16 points, 10 rebounds and seven assists.

Like the Game 1 blowout, Steph Curry led the way, this time courtesy of an all-around masterpiece in which he carved 37 points, eight rebounds and eight dimes. Curry made just four out of 14 3-point attempts, but he shot 11-of-22 from the field overall and swished all 11 of his free throws, including three straight that put Golden State ahead for good, 110-108, with 2:01 to go.

Klay Thompson finished with 24, thanks to a 4-of-8 fare from long distance, while the bench came up strong once again as Kevin Looney got 14 points and seven rebounds. Jordan Bell added 11 for Golden State, which ended up making 42 of their 82 field goals (51.2 percent) and 9-of-29 triples (31 percent).

\”Got to find a way to win and that\’s what we did. Winning plays, everybody contributed. Very exciting way to win. We\’ve got to play better in the first half for sure,\” a relieved Curry told reporters at the post-game press conference.

Damian Lillard topscored for Portland with 23 points while his backcourt mate, fellow All-Star C.J. McCollum, added 22. They did, however, struggle from the field and combined to make just 15 of their 39 shots. Portland, as a unit, converted just 38 of 86 field goals, a modest 44.2 percent.

\”I thought we gave ourselves a chance. We missed some shots. We had some turnovers. Lost the game, but you know, their job was to take care of their home floor, and we\’ve got an opportunity to do the same thing,\” Lillard said.

Portland head coach Terry Stotts also rued about his team\’s \”lost opportunity\” but he also acknowledged the Warriors\’ poise under pressure. \”They played like a championship team would here at home. They made plays in the last three minutes and we didn\’t.\”

After a torrid 34-point second quarter, Portland entered the half with a 15-point cushion before solidifying it to 17. And while the Warriors made a terrific fourth quarter run, the Blazers still had that golden opportunity in the waning moments when Seth Curry\’s 3 put them on top, 111-110, with just 1:03 remaining.

It just wasn\’t meant to be.

Instead, they head home with a demoralizing 0-2 deficit. Teams down 0-2 in the history of the NBA playoffs have a slim nine percent chance (5-51) of coming back to win the series.

Game 3 is Sunday morning at the Moda Center in Portland.

Also published in Philboxing.com

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NBA All-Star 2023 starters revealed

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NBA All-Star 2023 starters revealed

The 10 players from the Eastern and Western Division that will start the 2023 NBA All-Star has been named.

As expected, LeBron James will spearhead another game as he dominated in the voting.

Joining him in the west are Stephen Curry, Luka Doncic, Nikola Jokic and Zion Williamson.

Out East, Giannis Antetokounmpo topped Kevin Durant for being the captain. Jayson Tatum, Kyrie Irving and Donovan Mitchell completed the five.

James and Antetokounmpo will do the honor of drafting hours before the actual ASG.

The festivities in Utah will mark James’ 19th All-Star appearances in his 20-year career. 

Curry will made his ninth All-Star, fourth for Luka Magic, fifth for the reigning back-to-back MVP Nikola Jokic and second All-Star for Williamson.

The Greek Freak will see his seventh ASG, Durant with his 13th, Kyrie with his eighth, and Tatum and Mitchell both their fourth appearances.

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Jordan Poole wins it for the Dubs, goes 2-0 in season series vs. Memphis 

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In a much-anticipated NBA rivals week, Golden State faced off against the gritty Memphis Grizzlies and Jordan Poole may have caused Stephen Curry to get ejected, but he bounced back by hitting the game-winner for the Warriors. Up by two with less than two minutes left, Poole decided to release a 30-footer off a huge offensive rebound by Donte DiVincenzo with still 12 seconds left on the shot clock. Curry, who was asking for the ball, got frustrated on the shot that he threw his mouthpiece on the floor while going back to defense and with the referee in front of him, the two-time MVP got slapped with a technical and ejection in a clutch-situation game. But despite missing their best player, Klay Thompson made a huge triple off Poole's assist to give the Warriors up with 14.1 seconds. Brnadon Clark though, tied the game off a beautiful setup from Ja Morant. Thompson missed the following shot but the Warriors grabbed an offensive rebound that paved the way to an inbound game-winning play as Poole went backdoor for the layup. He finished with 21 points while Thompson had 24. Curry top scored with 34 points. With the win, the Warriors are now 2-0 against the Grizzlies in the regular season.

In a much-anticipated NBA rivals week, Golden State faced off against the gritty Memphis Grizzlies and Jordan Poole may have caused Stephen Curry to get ejected, but he bounced back by hitting the game-winner for the Warriors.

Up by two with less than two minutes left, Poole decided to release a 30-footer off a huge offensive rebound by Donte DiVincenzo with still 12 seconds left on the shot clock. Curry, who was asking for the ball, got frustrated on the shot that he threw his mouthpiece on the floor while going back to defense and with the referee in front of him, the two-time MVP got slapped with a technical and ejection in a clutch-situation game.

But despite missing their best player, Klay Thompson made a huge triple off Poole’s assist to give the Warriors up with 14.1 seconds. Brnadon Clark though, tied the game off a beautiful setup from Ja Morant.

Thompson missed the following shot but the Warriors grabbed an offensive rebound that paved the way to an inbound game-winning play as Poole went backdoor for the layup.

He finished with 21 points while Thompson had 24. Curry top scored with 34 points.

With the win, the Warriors are now 2-0 against the Grizzlies in the regular season. 

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Damian Lillard drops fourth 60-point career game 

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Damian Lillard drops fourth 60-point career game

Top 75 of all-time in full display for Damian Lillard as he put on an incredible 60-point show in Portland’s 134-124 win over the Utah Jazz.

The Trail Blazer superstar was off to a hot start scoring 26 first half points before becoming even hotter, delivering 24 points in the third quarter alone including a personal 20-point run.

He finished the quarter with 50-piece before adding 10 more in the final frame to reach 60.

This is Lillard’s fourth 60-point game of his career and a point shy to tie his career-high.

He is now third in the most 60-point output in NBA history.

Lillard shot the ball very efficiently at 21-out-of-29 field goals. He drained nine triples, dished out eight assists, grabbed seven boards and picked up three steals.

This also marked his 15th 50-point game, proving everyone he is a professional bucket-getter.

Portland’s back-to-back wins gave them a 23-25 record, fourth in the Northwest division, 12th overall in the West.

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