Talented, deep Warriors overwhelm Blazers
OAKLAND, Calif. — As two defenders closed in with the clock winding down in the third quarter, Kevin Durant bounced a perfect pass right to Stephen Curry open on the left wing.
The two-time reigning MVP then hit one of those buzzer-beating 3-pointers he made so many times last season.
Durant dazzled and scored 34 points in another efficient performance from the floor, Curry added 19 points with five 3-pointers and the Golden State Warriors quickly ran away from the overmatched Portland Trail Blazers in a 135-90 win Saturday night.
"There have been moments throughout the season where I wouldn't say you're surprised but it's kind of just 'Wow' moments where you appreciate the talent on this squad all the way through," Curry said. "That's an amazing pass when he's obviously had it going from all over the floor and he recognized he had two people on him, found me and I was able to knock it down just in time."
Durant shot 11 for 13 with four 3s in his seventh 30-point game and also pulled down 11 rebounds in nearly 31 minutes. Klay Thompson scored 16 points, Draymond Green had 12 rebounds and 11 assists, and reserve Ian Clark added a career-high 23 points in a lopsided rematch of the Western Conference semifinals won in five games by Golden State.
Damian Lillard scored 20 points playing back home and Maurice Harkless had 17, but cold-shooting Portland looked a step or two behind all night and never could stay with the deep Warriors.
"It's embarrassing to get beat by 45," Portland coach Terry Stotts said. "You want to play better against the best team in the league."
Golden State won its fourth straight against Portland with the largest Warriors margin of victory in the rivalry, getting four more dunks and 11 points from JaVale McGee.
Curry and Durant put on quite a show before their work was done and the fourth quarter once more belonged to the subs.
That buzzer-beating 3 by Curry put Golden State up 108-72 heading into the final period, and the Warriors finished with 36 assists.
Curry swished his first three 3s and then had a decent look another time but handed off to Durant, who shimmied past CJ McCollum and dribbled left into the paint before finishing with an emphatic one-handed slam with his right hand over Noah Vonleh.
Durant did it again midway through the second quarter, driving left and slamming it home.
The passing was pretty again after Golden State had assists on its first 36 baskets Thursday against the Knicks on the way to 41 total. The Warriors notched 30 or more assists for an NBA-best 20th time this season.
Lillard scored 31 against the Warriors in Golden State's 127-104 win at Portland on Nov. 1, but didn't have enough help and the Blazers shot 39.5 percent.
"It was one of the best ones in the last couple weeks for sure because this is a hard team to guard," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of the defense.
Zaza Pachulia returned to Golden State's starting lineup after missing four games with a bruised right wrist and contributed seven rebounds. David West, who sustained a hip pointer in the fourth quarter Thursday against New York, also played.
Trail Blazers: Stotts wouldn't confirm whether C Festus Ezeli was considering season-ending left knee surgery given he has yet to play for his new team. "I really don't have any comment on it, on his health or any medical procedure until something is scheduled or something's actually done," Stotts said. ... Portland has lost five in a row and 19 of 22 in Oakland.
Warriors: Durant had his third game with at least 30 points and 10 rebounds. ... Curry has 105 3-pointers in 25 regular-season games against the Blazers, his most vs. any opponent. ... Green started his 200th regular-season game. ... Clark is 17 for 19 in two games this season facing Portland, 6 of 7 from 3-point range. "He always stays ready," Curry said. ... Golden State is 14-0 in its alternate slate uniform and 26-3 all time.
Trail Blazers: At Sacramento on Tuesday, looking for their eighth straight victory against the Kings and fourth in a row against them on the road.
Warriors: Host Utah on Tuesday looking to beat the Jazz for the seventh straight time and 13th in 14.