While center was supposed to be a weakness after this roster saw Andrew Bogut traded and lost Festus Ezeli to free agency, the Warriors' bigs have exceeded expectations this season.
Golden State took the day off from practice Thursday following the 110-81 victory, then was scheduled to practice Friday morning before flying to Portland.
JaVale McGee made all seven of his shots, good for 15 points, in 13 minutes.
The Warriors had a definite plan coming out of the gate. Without Durant on the floor, they held Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum to just 23 combined points.
Who else can do what Draymond Green does?
They go insane for Clark, with his retro headband. To make certain he's healthy, Golden State doesn't need to risk playing him in the first round that they believed they could win handily without him. Thompson hitting from 19 feet freed up the paint.
For the live radio commentary of NBA Playoff games, listen to Rip City Radio, 620 am channels. The moral of the story: dunks beat contested jumpers and three-pointers just make it worse.
Portland would bear down in the middle minutes Rebounds came easier as the Warriors missed a raft of jumpers.More news: The Unicorn Frappucino is here and it's definitely magical
PRESSURE IS ON: An argument could be made it's actually on Golden State. The defensive ace had three blocks to go along with 12 rebounds and 10 assists. The Warriors led 83-58 after three. According to Kerr, generally, if you gamble, you would lose miserably.
The Warriors are not anxious about the Blazers. Like Durant, he is considered a game-time decision. Normally, "precautionary" rest is employed on a Tuesday night in January - not during the playoffs. The supporting cast for the Dubs stepped up in a big way. Golden State jumped out to a (33-17) lead after the 1st quarter of play.
Portland will once again be without center Jusuf Nurkic, who is still recovering from fracturing his right leg in late March. Every player not named McLillard was left open repeatedly on the perimeter so that Golden State could pack the lane and swarm Lillard and McCollum if they penetrated.
The Blazers also committed numerous atrocious turnovers on the perimeter. While the Blazers kept threatening the fight back into the game, the Warriors kept executing. And of those 11, five of them are centers, which means someone is going to have to play out of position. Given the Warriors' basketball intelligence and adaptive skills, the repeated match-ups may just be teaching the Warriors how to be more dominant.
Portland had no answer for Javale McGee. Barnes figures to get some as well once he's back, but that might not be for another couple games. Coming off one of the greatest individual regular seasons in National Basketball Association history, Stephen Curry suffered multiple injuries in last year's postseason and missed six games. Heather and Jason America proved their Blazer knowledge and won a Damian Lillard autographed ball. Durant got to rest and the Warriors got to roll. Lillard had one particularly rough sequence in which he walked down court and jacked a 30-footer early in the clock that missed badly.
CJ McCollum couldn't find his shot tonight. His defense also regressed to its midseason form after looking particularly good last game. Maurice Harkless is the third double-digit scorer and Evan Turner is grabbing 6.5 rebounds.
That feeling wouldn't last long in the second half. It didn't matter that the Blazers' supporting cast was much better in the second game compared to the first.
Meyers Leonardhad an embarrassing shift in the first half - Blazers coach Terry Stotts pulled him after only 22 seconds when he surrendered an easy alley-oop to McGee.