SAN FRANCISCO (AP)The goal for Golden State: Do everything to shut down Damian Lillard, without fouling the Trail Blazers star after he made all 16 of his free throws last time against the defending champs.
Jordan Poole had 29 points, six assists and five rebounds, Klay Thompson scored 23 points and the Warriors rallied past the red-hot Lillard and Portland 123-105 on Tuesday night.
Lillard had 25 points and seven assists to follow up his franchise-record and career-best 71-point masterpiece against the Rockets on Sunday night, when his 13 3-pointers were one shy of Thompson’s NBA record.
“We know all too well what Dame can do when he gets rolling,” coach Steve Kerr said. “That was the plan from the beginning, let’s try to take him out.”
Lillard was whistled for three quick fouls after halftime and Portland unsuccessfully challenged his fourth personal. The Warriors capitalized on every chance during their decisive 39-point third quarter, taking the lead for good on Thompson’s 3-pointer with 1:46 left in the period on the way to winning a fourth straight at home and eighth in nine at Chase Center.
Golden State came back from 23 down after losing 125-122 in Portland on Feb. 8.
“It was a very good test for what we’re going to need to do going forward,” guard Donte DiVincenzo said.
Jonathan Kuminga delivered a high-flying one-handed dunk down the middle late in the third certain to make the highlight reels, then another shortly after to aid the comeback. He scored 16 on 8-for-10 shooting.
Lillard had 15 points on 5-for-8 shooting in the first to help the Blazers build a quick 39-22 lead and score 41 in the opening period. He shot 9 of 21 for the night and took only five free throws.
Thompson and Lillard were the league’s two most prolific shooters from long range in February, Thompson averaging an NBA-best 5.6 3s per game to Lillard’s 5.3.
Thompson has been working on being a better rebounder and grabbed eight to go with four assists. He and Poole began a combined 6 for 22 as the Warriors trailed 65-48 at halftime.
It marked the first meeting since Portland dealt Gary Payton II to the Warriors ahead of the trade deadline, then Golden State expressed concerns to the NBA about how much the Trail Blazers shared regarding the guard’s health. Payton is currently sidelined still recovering from offseason surgery for a core muscle injury.
“Just wanna hoop!!” Payton posted on his Twitter account.
Draymond Green returned from a two-game absence with a bruised right knee, then injured his left wrist at the 9:15 mark of the second in a collision with Drew Eubanks and went to the locker room before returning about four minutes later.
He underwent an MRI exam for the knee on Monday, then participated in the shootaround before being deemed ready to play and contributed 12 points, nine rebounds, eight assists, two blocks and two steals.
With Stephen Curry and Andrew Wiggins still out, getting Green back on the court meant so much.
“It just feels like we’re coming together, and it feels like there’s some chemistry, some energy that’s forming,” Kerr said. “We’ve been battling all season and without and Steph and Wiggs for so much of the season. These guys have done a great job of just keeping our heads above water.”
Portland coach Chauncey Billups tried to keep the focus on basketball and none of the drama surrounding Payton’s departure earlier in the month.
“Just another day,” Billups said, “I’ll be happy to see him, embrace him and give him some love.”
Kevon Looney, whose 24 games with double-digit rebounds are most for Golden State since Green had 37 in 2015-16, saw the end of a stretch of six straight games with 13 or more rebounds but did score 14 points with seven rebounds.
Larry Smith is the last Warriors player with at least 13 rebounds in seven consecutive games when he twice had eight straight such games in 1980-81.
“What Looney’s doing on the offensive glass is incredible,” Billups said.
Trail Blazers: Portland shot 12 for 39 from deep and got outrebounded 45-33. … The Blazers have lost the last five on the Warriors’ home court.
Warriors: Curry, the reigning NBA Finals MVP, is increasing his workload and scrimmaged earlier in the day with Golden State’s two-way players and backups. He missed his ninth straight game with a left leg injury after getting hurt against Dallas on Feb. 4 and a formal update on his progress should come in the next few days. … Wiggins sat out a fifth consecutive game while dealing with a family matter.
Trail Blazers: Host New Orleans on Wednesday night to conclude the road-home back-to-back.
Warriors: Host the Clippers on Thursday night having won the last four in the series at home.
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