OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The defending champions mounted a remarkable comeback without MVP Stephen Curry.
Next game, they might have him back and really get rolling.
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.
“It started with how focused we were in that fourth,” Thompson said. “We’ve been down and out before. … We were just locked in on both sides of the ball. We can build on this game. That effort there in the fourth quarter is what it’s going to take to beat this team.”
Draymond Green added 17 points, 14 rebounds, seven assists and four blocked shots in another win without Curry, sidelined with a sprained MCL in his right knee and relished to coaching to help any way he could.
Game 3 is Saturday in Portland, and Curry could be in uniform.
Thompson’s 3 with 6:44 remaining tied it, igniting the sellout crowd inside deafening Oracle Arena as the defending champions erased an early 17-point deficit.
“We hung in there,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr said. “We turned around what was a pretty bad game for us but we had enough time to get back.”
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.
“We played three really good quarters. We showed we can compete with them,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. “It got away from us in the fourth quarter. It’s disappointing to lose a game you’re competitive and you’re in position to win in the fourth quarter. We’ve got to close it out. It was an opportunity to get a win on the road. We’ve got to learn from it.”
Lillard had 25 points and six assists, and CJ McCollum added 22 points as Portland hit 13 3-pointers. The Blazers were also down 2-0 in the first round to the Clippers.
“Obviously Golden State is a different monster,” Lillard said.
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. Andre 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.
The Blazers switched up defenders to swarm Thompson, from Allen Crabbe to Al-Farouq Aminu, Maurice Harkless and others.
Portland shot 66.7 percent in the first quarter to take a 34-21 lead — quite the opposite of when the Blazers trailed 37-17 after the first period two days earlier in a 118-106 loss.
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.
“We had an opportunity to steal one on the road. It hurts to go back in the locker room after playing so well for so long,” Lillard said. “They played desperate.”
The Warriors won their sixth straight at home against Portland, all by double figures for a total margin of victory of 89 points.