Golden State Warriors

NBA Playoffs 2019: Recap from Golden State Warriors Game 1 win over Portland Trail Blazers

The Golden State Warriors have taken Game 1 of the Western Conference Finals.

Stephen Curry went off for 36 points, shooting 52.2% from the field and 60.0% from beyond the arc, converting nine attempts from long range to match his playoff career-high for 3-pointers in a game.

He led the Warriors offence with Klay Thompson adding 26 points as the Splash Brothers made up for the absence of Kevin Durant on that end of the floor.

The Portland Trail Blazers needed more from the star guard Damian Lillard, but turnovers handcuffed their chances to steal the first game of the series.

For more on the Warriors' Game 1 win, we have you covered with takeaways below.

Curry catches fire

With Kevin Durant (calf) out for Game 1, the Warriors desperately needed Stephen Curry to get going from the opening tip.

He went just 2-for-6 from the field in the first quarter but still found a way to score eight points to get things started. He continued to let it fly in the second quarter and he finally caught fire.

Curry scored 11 points in the second frame, going 3-for-4 from beyond the arc. He had 19 points to give his team a slim nine-point lead at the half but with the rest of the Warriors' offence stagnant, scoring just 54 points as a team, they needed their star guard to stay hot.

Curry did just that.

He exploded for 14 points in the third quarter alone, knocking down four more 3-pointers. The Blazers made some progress in cutting into the Warriors' lead, but without Curry's scoring outburst the Warriors very well could have surrendered their lead, as the rest of the team scored just nine points in the frame.

Curry finished with a team-high 36 points on a playoff career-high tying nine 3-pointers. He dished out seven assists to go with six boards and a steal while committing just one turnover.

He shot 12-for-23 (52.2%) from the field and 9-for-15 (60.0%) from beyond the arc, stepping up in a big way with his team in need.

Lillard struggles to get going

It was a tough night at the office in Game 1 for Damian Lillard who managed just 19 points on just 4-of-12 shooting.

Credit the Warriors defence, who did a fantastic job contesting shots, fighting over screens and forcing the ball out of his hands, with Klay Thompson and Andre Iguodala making life tough for him all game.

After making a jumper with 8:15 left in the first quarter, Lillard went without a field goal until the dying seconds of the third quarter and even without his shot dropping, he struggled to get his teammates going, having his passes picked off and getting caught in the air on multiple occasions, finishing with just six assists and seven turnovers on the night.

Since his first round heroics against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Lillard has struggled to re-capture the magic and without him forcing the Warriors' hand on defence and playing agressive, the Blazers are going to have a tough time as the series goes on.

Blazers turnovers and Warriors' points off

Even without Durant, teams cannot afford to give the defending back-to-back champions any more of an edge than they already have.

It takes nearly perfect basketball to beat the Warriors at Oracle Arena, especially in the playoffs, and the Blazers turned the ball over too often to pick up a Game 1 road win.

This is a team that had just four turnovers (!) in their Game 7 win over the Denver Nuggets to reach the Western Conference Finals.

Damian Lillard nearly equalled that total in the first quarter, committing three turnovers himself with six giveaways as a team in the first frame.

Portland finished with 21 turnovers, but that was not the stand-alone issue. The Warriors capitalized on the Blazers' mistakes, scoring 31 points off of those turnovers, getting a solid chunk of their offence off of Portland's cough-ups.

The Blazers averaged 13.8 turnovers per game this season, good for 11th-best in the league. In the playoffs they've been even more careful with the rock, trimming that number down to 11.9 per game before this contest.

Their 21 turnovers in this game were tied for their most in a game this entire season.

If the Trail Blazers are going to have a chance at stealing one of these road games to start the series, they'll have to go back to putting more value on each and every possession.

3-pointers make the difference

The Blazers just couldn't get their shots to drop from deep in Game 1 and while they could get away with it against the Denver Nuggets, the Warriors made them pay and then some.

Portland connected on just 7-of-28 three-pointers on the night, with Lillard (2-of-5), McCollum (1-of-5), Mo Harkless (1-of-4), Rodney Hood (2-of-5) and Seth Curry (1-of-4) all struggling.

Steph Curry himself buried nine three-pointers in Game 1, two more than the entire Blazers team, with the Warriors shooting 17-of-33 from deep. For Curry it was the15th time he's hit seven or more triples in a playoff game.

While it's a dangerous game getting into a three-point contest with the Warriors, the Blazers have to do a better job getting catch and shoot opportunities in Game 2 or find easier looks inside as they try to slow down the pace of the game.

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