The daily preview muscles into the paint with NBA tips for a Western Conference showdown between high-scoring foes Portland Trail Blazers andGolden State Warriors.
14:00 (AEDT), Thu 4th Mar @ Moda Center, Portland
History: Played 247: Trail Blazers 129 V Warriors 118
Last meeting: January 3, 2021: Warriors 137 d Trail Blazers 122 at Chase Center
Final Thoughts: Western Conference rivals Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors square off for the third time this season.
Both teams carved out a convincing win when they met in San Francisco twice in quick succession in early-January. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combined for 64 points in a 123-98 Trail Blazers rout on New Year’s Day.
But Steph Curry went off for 62 points – including eight threes – as the Warriors ran away with it 137-122 two days later.
Blazers back in winner’s circle, Warriors come off big loss
The 19-14 Blazers are sixth in the West. They snapped a four-game slide with a 123-111 home win over the Hornets two days ago, with Carmelo Anthony (29 pts) top-scoring off the bench and Lillard (23 pts, 10 ast) and Robert Covington (21 pts, 10 reb) starring.
Portland are still sweating on the return of McCollum and Jusuf Nurkic from lengthy injury spells. McCollum’s absence has impacted the offence, with Gary Trent Jr and Covington hit-and-miss when it comes to shoring up that gap.
The 19-16 Warriors are eighth in the West and had their three-game winning run ended in emphatic fashion three days ago by the shorthanded Lakers, whipped 117-91 at home. After scoring 24-plus points in his previous 15 games, Curry was restricted to just 16.
It was also the Warriors’ lowest score of the season – and a performance they’ll be looking to quickly put behind them.
The Warriors boast several lopsided playoffs series wins over the Blazers in recent seasons, including a 4-0 sweep in the 2019 Western Conference Finals. But Portland have won seven of the last 11 regular-season encounters with Golden State.
Both offensively-strong teams are ranked in the NBA’s bottom-10 for points conceded per game, which should allow Lillard and Curry to run riot. Portland are 9-6 at home (6-9 against the start), while Golden State are 7-10 on the road overall and ATS.
Lillard has scored 35-plus points in five of his last eight games at Moda Center and I like his chances of leading the home underdogs to the W.
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