The Warriors have lost four of their last five games in the All-Star Break. On the other hand, the Portland Trail Blazers have won four times in a row. On Thursday night, Golden State returned from a week-long hiatus and found itself once again in the winning column with a 132-95 victory at MODA Center.
Thursday night’s win completed the Warriors’ season sweep over the Blazers.
Both teams caught fire early and the Warriors fell 32-31 at the end of the first quarter after trailing by as much as 10 early. In the second quarter, the Warriors’ offensive reached another level with a 39-point drop as the Blazers calmed down and scored 25. The Warriors didn’t calm down when they outplayed Portland 30-16 in the third, and 32-22 in the fourth.
Like music to Steve Kerr’s ears, the Warriors had 36 assists in 12 turns.
Klay Thompson scored 13 points in the first quarter and finished with 18 points. Steve Curry also scored 18 points, but his role as distributor really stood out. The star superstar provided 14 assists in the season.
Gary Payton started second in the power forward, scoring 10 points and making each of his three throws. This was a collective win with eight players scoring double goals.
Blazers have replaced CJ McCollum for New Orleans Pelicans, and appear to have a new star forming in the backcountry. Anfernee Simons, 22, has scored the highest in the game by 24 points and has scored at least 20 points 15 times now in 2022.
Here are three points from the Warriors’ dominant win that improved their record to 43-17.
A tale of two all-stars
Carrie Wael carried the scoring in a double-double performance in his first match. He didn’t play at all in the fourth quarter and still made 18 points and 14 assists, two points off his career high. His 10 passes in the first half was one of his career highs, and it gave him a double in the first half for the first time since December 2017.
However, Andrew Wiggins has not had the same luck.
After his first trip to the All-Star Game, Wiggins went goalless in the first half. He went 0 for 5 from the field, all from behind the 3-point streak.
In the third quarter, he then scored 10 points and went 2-on-3 from deep. He also hasn’t seen any time in the fourth quarter.
In the first inning alone, the Warriors bench outnumbered the Blazers 30-11. Golden State ended up on the bench, scoring 66 points, compared to 38 for Portland.
Jonathan Kominga led the way by 17 minutes in 27 minutes. He also had eight rebounds and was a plus 24. Jordan Bull put 15 points, made six assists and was the highest in the game plus 33. Otto Porter Jr. was the third player off the bench in the double-digit, scoring 10 points with seven rebounds.
Every warrior played, and every player on the bench had a positive plus sign.
Kuminga’s new dimension
The Rising Apprentice of Warriors continues to add new skills to his tool belt. In Portland, it was the ability to get to the free throw line. Cominga scored the highest level of the season by scoring 10 free throws in the first half and making eight of them. He ended up going 10 for 12.
His ten wins were his career best, six of which were his previous highs.
Cominga hit just 62.5 percent of the goal line in the J-League last year when he missed college, and he came on the night to make 65.5 percent of his NBA free throws. Thursday night, he made 83.3% of his attempts.
If Kuminga can jump off the line, it will make his ascent much faster.
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