Warriors clamp down late to win playoff opener

San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills has provided drive off the bench

San Antonio Spurs guard Patty Mills has provided drive off the bench

It had been over two weeks since Green played more than 30 minutes in a game and his rest payed dividends in his Game 1 performance.

Earlier this season, Green was just six points shy of the historically elusive quadruple-double, recording four points, 11 rebounds, 10 assists, 10 steals and five blocks February 10 against the Memphis Grizzlies.

When the Trail Blazers had 88 points through three quarters in Game 1, Golden State followed Green's lead and locked in defensively in the fourth.

Stotts, though, sees plenty of reason for optimism, beginning with Game 2 on Wednesday.

Draymond Green had 19 points, 12 rebounds, nine assists, five blocked shots and three steals to help last season's second-place team take the first step in what it is counting on to be a championship run. They're a good help defensive team, so when the ball is swung out, they've got to be able to take advantage of those opportunities. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 75 of the 109 total points for the Blazers. The margin of the game instead came from the Golden State bench outscoring Portland's 22-9, including a 13-2 run to open the fourth quarter without either Curry or Durant on the floor.

But when you combine transition opportunities with three-point and free throw attempts, the task of stopping the Warriors then becomes impossible.

Green was a thorn in the Blazers' offensive plans.

Curry reached his hand in the air to further ignite the sellout crowd, thrilled to be inside raucous Oracle Arena on a rainy day that postponed the Astros-Athletics game next-door.

The game started with a sloppy, somewhat frustrating first half that ended in a 56-all tie. The game started competitive until Draymond Green showed the way and clamp down the Blazers offense in the fourth quarter.

Game 2 in the first-round series is Tuesday night in Boston. Golden State now leads the best of 7 series 1-0 against the Trailblazers. McCollum put up 41 points on 28 shots and 8 rebounds while holding Thompson to just 15 points on 16 shots including a 1-6 showing from deep.

Wall scored 15 points in the third quarter and finished with 14 assists.

While there are many strong defenders in the NBA, Green's ability to lift his team and drive them to play their best basketball alongside him is what makes him the clear choice for DPOY. "(We) got to do it by a committee at times".

With scoring like the Warriors had with their "Big Four" and for the score to be tied after three quarters, imagine what it will be like when, not if, the Warriors all get "hot" and on the same page during the NBA Playoffs.

The Warriors went from allowing 47.6 percent from the field in the first half to 39.2 in the second, including 29.2 in the decisive fourth, plus the six turnovers.

The box score stats were incredible but still failed to capture just how much Green controlled this game.

Green attacked the defensive end with unreal vigor, especially late in the game. C Jusuf Nurkic (R leg fracture) was listed as questionable and declared out prior to tipoff.

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