Warriors survive Blazers to take 2-0 series lead

Golden State Warriors guard Andre Iguodala (9) steals the ball from Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) in game two of the Western conference finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. — Reuters pic
Golden State Warriors guard Andre Iguodala (9) steals the ball from Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) in game two of the Western conference finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Oracle Arena. — Reuters pic

OAKLAND, May 17 — Draymond Green lobbed to Kevon Looney for a go-ahead hoop with 52.9 seconds remaining, then converted a Stephen Curry assist into a layup of his own 40 seconds later, allowing the Golden State Warriors to outlast the Portland Trail Blazers for a 114-111 win last night and 2-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

The best-of-seven moves to Portland for Games 3 and 4 tomorrow and Monday, respectively. Warriors standout Kevin Durant, who missed the first two games with a strained right calf, already has been ruled out of both Portland games and Wednesday's Game 5 back in Oakland, if it's necessary.

After trailing by as many as 17 points in the third quarter and by eight with just 4:28 to play, the top-seeded Warriors scored 14 of the game's final 17 points to sweep their opening two home games against the West's third-seeded club.

Green's lob to Looney came after Seth Curry had put Portland up 111-110 with a 3-pointer with 1:02 to go.

After CJ McCollum misfired with a chance to counter Looney's hoop, the Warriors converted at the other end on Stephen Curry's pass to Green for a three-point lead with 12.3 seconds to play.

Needing a 3-pointer to tie, Damian Lillard had the ball stripped by Andre Iguodala while elevating for a desperation 28-foot attempt, sealing Golden State's win.

Stephen Curry had 37 points to lead the Warriors, who have lost just once in their last 11 playoff games against Portland. Klay Thompson added 24 points, Green 16, Looney 14 and Jordan Bell 11 for Golden State, which shot 51.2 percent. Green also contributed 10 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks in the win.

Lillard had a 23-point, 10-assist double-double to lead the Trail Blazers, who shot 44.2 percent. McCollum finished with 22 points, Seth Curry 16, and Maurice Harkless and Rodney Hood 12 apiece for Portland.

The Trail Blazers led 108-100 after a 3-pointer by Meyers Leonard with 4:28 left before the Warriors scored 10 straight, the final three on three free throws by Stephen Curry with 2:01 to go.

Seth Curry countered that with his 3-pointer, setting up the frantic finish.

Seemingly rejuvenated by getting a day off Wednesday — after having been rushed into Game 1 in the wake of an emotional series win over Denver — the Trail Blazers threatened to blow out the two-time defending champs, going up 67-50 in the first minute of the second half.

But the Warriors quickly rallied, getting 13 points from Thompson and 11 from Stephen Curry in a 37-15 flurry that turned a 17-point deficit into a five-point lead before the period's end.

The Trail Blazers led by as many as seven in the first quarter, but it was in the second period that they began dominating the game.

Portland led just 42-39 at the midpoint of the second quarter before Lillard and Seth Curry combined for 14 points in a 20-6 burst that opened a 17-point advantage late in the half.

Lillard, who was scoreless for the game's first 20 minutes, finished the half with 10. Portland led 65-50 at the break. — Field Level Media/ Reuters