Golden State Warriors: Bench, veterans lead depleted Dubs past Blazers

Golden State Warriors, Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Golden State Warriors, Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2017 NBAE (Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The reigning NBA champion Golden State Warriors defeated the Portland Trail Blazers Monday night at Oracle Arena thanks to a couple unlikely heroes.

Kevin Durant whipped a pass to the corner to Klay Thompson, who, with one fluid flick of the wrist, shot the ball and it rattled in giving the Golden State Warriors a comfortable lead late in the fourth quarter.

Thompson would go on to finish with 24 points on 9-of-21 shooting, including 4-of-10 from beyond the arc in the Warriors’ 111-104 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers without all stars Stephen Curry and Draymond Green out due to injuries.

Durant led the Warriors with 28 points, nine rebounds, five assists and three blocks. He has been the go-to guy since Curry went down with an ankle injury in New Orleans and tonight’s game was no different. He flashed his defensive prowess with blocks and shot contests. One of those blocks happened at the end of the first half swatting Blazers guard C.J. McCollum.

As important as Durant and Thompson were to the win, it was a total team effort with four other players making big impacts. Jordan Bell, the rookie out of Oregon had a nice game with 11 points, six rebounds, two assists and a block. That one block happened to be a chase-down block of a Damian Lillard dunk attempt on the fast break.

Omri Casspi also had 11 points and grabbed nine rebounds. David West had 10 points on 5-of-6 shooting, four blocks and one thunderous turn-back-the-clock dunk over the Blazers’ Jake Layman. Nick Young came into the game and did what Nick Young does. Shoot the ball. He scored 12 points on 5-of-8 shooting before taking a hard fall in the first half and going through concussion protocol.

Here is the Bell block and West dunk.

Here is Bell’s block on Lillard.

This is West’s dunk and the bench reaction is pretty sweet too.

For the Warriors, they are continuing their season trend of going up big and giving up most of their lead and that’s not a trend you want to have, but it’s still early in the season. Tonight, a 24-point lead dwindled down to eight until a Thompson gave them some comfort and an Andre Iguodala backdoor pass to Shaun Livingston essentially sealed the game.

For the Blazers, Lillard was incredible leading a near Blazers comeback with shot after shot, going for 39 points on 12-of-28 shooting with five three-pointers and put on a show in his hometown. The Oakland High product drove to the basket with creative finishes and shot from the perimeter keeping his team in it.

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However, outside of Lillard, there were not many other players that showed up to play. McCollum had 21 points on 8-of-14 shooting.

Jusuf Nurkic, the Blazers center missed the game due to an ankle injury, which hurt the Blazers tonight because they run their offense through him.

The Warriors play the Mavericks next on Thursday at Oracle Arena.