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sport / / BANG: Just in time: Steph Curry comes alive late to rescue Warriors in Portland

o BANG: Just in time: Steph Curry comes alive late to rescue Warriors in PortlandAllen

BANG: Just in time: Steph Curry comes alive late to rescue Warriors in Portland


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From: (Allen)
Subject: BANG: Just in time: Steph Curry comes alive late to rescue Warriors
in Portland
Date: Fri, 12 Apr 2024 15:36:32 -0700
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 by: Allen - Fri, 12 Apr 2024 22:36 UTC

Just in time: Steph Curry comes alive late to rescue Warriors in Portland
Warriors went on a 17-1 run in the fourth quarter
>Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry, right, drives to the basket
against Portland Trail Blazers forward Justin Minaya, center left,
during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Portland, Ore.,
Thursday, April 11, 2024. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

Jason Mastrodonato is a sports reporter for the Bay Area News Group.
News Group
PUBLISHED: April 11, 2024 at 9:59 p.m. | UPDATED: April 12, 2024 at 4:25

Slow and sloppy for three quarters, the Golden State Warriors finally
came to life in the fourth quarter on Thursday night.

Playing against one of the NBA’s worst teams, the Portland Trail
Blazers, the Warriors looked lost until the very end, when Steph Curry
turned it on and Kevon Looney came off the bench to lift the Warriors to
a 100-92 win.

“It was a tough night for us, we did not execute very well,” head coach
Steve Kerr told reporters in Portland. “But we pulled through in the end.”

Looney hasn’t played much this season and was a healthy scratch on
Tuesday night, but when the Warriors were getting buried by Portland’s
second-chance points, Looney entered the game and turned things around.

“Loon just saved us, like he has dozens of times in his career here,”
Kerr said. “He’s kind of been on the outside of the rotation for the
last six weeks or so. And he always stays ready. He came in and changed
the game. We were really getting bullied on the glass early in the game.
I thought he came in and established the tone inside.”

Warriors on NBCS
@NBCSWarriors ·Follow
"Loon just saved us, like he has done dozens of times in his career

Kerr thanks Looney for swinging momentum the Warriors' way

10:15 PM · Apr 11, 2024
1.8K Reply Share

The win moved the Warriors one step ahead of the Los Angeles Lakers as
the No. 9 seed in the Western Conference. If the Warriors can win their
final two games and the Sacramento Kings lose at least one, the Warriors
could get as high as the No. 8 seed.

Kerr opted to play without Draymond Green (bruised knee), Klay Thompson
(calf tightness) and Gary Payton II (calf tightness), resting some of
his best players against a Trail Blazers (21-58) squad that didn’t
expect to be much of a threat. All three players are expected to play on

Without them, Kerr went with a lineup of Curry, Chris Paul, Trayce
Jackson-Davis, Jonathan Kuminga and Andrew Wiggins.

The first quarter was all about Jackson-Davis, as the rookie big man was
a stat-stuffer at both ends of the floor, clogging the paint and making
things difficult for Portland to get inside. But on offense, the
Warriors couldn’t find a rhythm.

They committed five turnovers in the first four minutes of the game and
the Trail Blazers capitalized, a theme throughout the night. At one
point the Trailblazers had 15 points off turnovers to the Warriors’ zero.

It wasn’t until Brandin Podziemski checked in midway through the first
that they started to find a rhythm. He locked down a precious defensive
rebound and took it the other way, then split two defenders with a
slippery pass to feed Kuminga for a slam. On the next possession, he
found space inside and scored on a layup to complete a 14-2 run as the
Warriors finished the quarter with a 24-22 lead.

After a tightly contested second quarter, the Warriors shot the ball
well enough to get into halftime with a 49-46 lead, despite having 15
fewer field goal attempts while getting dominated by Portland in
offensive rebounds.

“Box outs and rebounds,” Podziemski told reporters. “We were able to
limit that slowly but surely in the second half.”

With 9:09 left to play they found themselves trailing, 85-79.

For the next 6 minutes, 37 seconds, the Trail Blazers didn’t hit a
single field goal. Looney took over for Jackson-Davis and finally put a
stop to all Portland’s second-chance opportunities. Podziemski played
tight defense on Scoot Henderson. And Curry pulled it all together with
his typical fourth-quarter dominance.

At one point, Curry, Looney and Podziemski seemed to be playing three
against five. When Curry couldn’t get loose on the perimeter, he’d feed
Podziemski, who was more eager to drive and look for space than shoot
the rock himself. He drove inside, turned around and fired the ball
right back out to Curry, who knocked down a 3-pointer.

The next possession, Curry worked around back-to-back Looney screens
until Looney got open, then he fed him for an easy layup.

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Then came the dagger, when Looney collected a steal in his own end and
fed it to Curry, who managed the open floor perfectly and found
Podziemski for an and-one bucket that sank the Trail Blazers for good.

In those majestic 6 minutes, 37 seconds, the Warriors out-scored
Portland 17-1.

“I thought the two key guys were Loon and Brandin,” Kerr said.

They finished the game on a 21-7 run and avoided what could’ve been a
deflating loss with just three days left in the regular season.

“We showed resilience,” Podziemski said. “Earlier in the season it was
flipped, where we were playing really well in the start and then we gave
it up. It’s just about finding ways to win.”

Curry finished with 22 points despite shooting just 5-for-16 from
3-point range. He added seven rebounds, eight assists, a steal and two

Looney (plus-19) and Podziemski (plus-13) led the team in plus-minus,
while Looney added nine points, a team-high 11 rebounds, two steals and
four blocks.

“I knew with Draymond, Klay, GP being out, that everyone had to step
up,” Looney said on the NBC Sports broadcast after the game. “I tried to
make sure I stayed ready, trying to make a difference. We knew this was
an important game. We knew it’d be tough playing without our guys. But
we got it done.”

Their late-game heroics ensured the “Road Warriors” finished their away
portion of the regular season schedule with a remarkable 25-16 record on
the road, including 17 wins in their last 21 games away from Chase Center.

They return home Friday night to host the New Orleans Pelicans (47-32).

sport / / BANG: Just in time: Steph Curry comes alive late to rescue Warriors in Portland


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