OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) – Klay Thompson scored 27 points and gave Golden State its first lead of the game on a 3-pointer with 5:33 left, and the Warriors rallied to beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-99 on Tuesday night for a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference semifinal series.
Draymond Green added 17 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and four blocked shots in another win without injured MVP Stephen Curry, sidelined with a sprained MCL in his right knee.
Game 3 is Saturday in Portland, and the reigning MVP might be back for that one.
NBA Finals MVP Andre Iguodala’s two free throws at 7:25 trimmed the Blazers’ lead to 91-88 and Thompson’s 3 at 6:44 tied it, igniting the sellout crowd inside deafening Oracle Arena as the defending champions erased an early 17-point deficit.
Damian Lillard’s 3 to beat the third-quarter buzzer put Portland ahead 87-76 entering the final 12 minutes – Golden State’s largest deficit going into the fourth all playoffs.
For most of the night, the energized Blazers did everything the defending champions typically do on their impenetrable home court: making the zippy pass, setting the tone on the defensive end, crashing the boards, answering any threat with a big basket.
Lillard had 25 points and six assists, and CJ McCollum added 22 points as Portland hit 13 3-pointers.
Shaun Livingston scored 14 points for his fifth double-digit performance during these playoffs filling in for Curry. Little-used Festus Ezeli contributed eight points and six rebounds down the stretch.
Thompson, coming off a career playoff-high 37 points in Sunday’s 118-106 Game 1 win, shot 7 for 20 with five 3-pointers. Iguodala made all five of his first-half shots for 11 of his 15 points to go with five rebounds and four assists, helping Golden State get back within 59-51 at the break.
Ezeli’s alley-oop dunk with 10:11 to play pulled the Warriors within 87-82 and he scored again as Golden State stayed within 91-84. Green stuffed Mason Plumlee in the closing minutes before an emphatic two-handed slam moments later.
The Blazers switched up defenders to swarm Thompson, from Allen Crabbe to Al-Farouq Aminu.
Portland made the extra pass and drove for three first-quarter dunks, all in the final 4:34. The Blazers shot 66.7 percent to take a 34-21 lead – quite the opposite of when they trailed 37-17 after the first period two days earlier in a 118-106 loss.
Blazers coach Terry Stotts called for a better start against the defending champions after falling behind 37-17 after the opening period Game 1, and the Blazers thoroughly dominated the first half.
So out of sync were the Warriors early that at one point Curry could be seen emphatically adding his input in the middle of the coaches’ huddle and again to teammates.
Lillard and McCollum, who combined to shoot 13 for 43 in Game 1, went 17 for 39.
The Warriors won their sixth straight at home against Portland, all by double figures for a total margin of victory of 89 points.
Ian Clark gave Golden State a lift late in the first half.
The Blazers came out defending well from the tip unlike Game 1, as the Warriors missed eight of their first 10 shots and Portland took a 17-5 lead midway through the first quarter.
Andrew Bogut’s two blocks gave him 65 in the playoffs, most in Warriors franchise postseason history.
Trail Blazers: Portland’s 34 first-quarter points were the most allowed by Golden State in the first quarter this postseason. … The Blazers are 5-21 at Golden State since the start of the 2003-04 season.
Warriors: The Warriors had their first halftime deficit at home these playoffs. … Golden State is 5-0 at Oracle this postseason. … Curry won the Magic Johnson Award, given by the Professional Basketball Writers Association to an NBA player who combines excellence on the court with cooperation with the public and media. … Justin Holiday, a member of last season’s title team now with Chicago, received his championship ring from Coach of the Year Steve Kerr and general manager Bob Myers.
Copyright 2016 The Associated Press.