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Sloppy Warriors gather to force OT but fall in blazers




Two nights after their embarrassing performance on Christmas night, the Warriors showed an improvement that was not nearly enough.

Stephen Curry and Kevin Durant Unite for 55 Points The Warriors gathered in the final minutes of the regulation to send the game to overtime, but fell on Thursday at the Oracle Arena on Portland 110-109.


Oakland-born Damian Lillard, who grew up a Warriors fan, played his last regular season game at the Oracle Arena, beating the winner 5.1 seconds before the end.

The warriors had serious sales problems, including Curry, who lost the ball just before Lillard's shot and lost the ball. The Warriors also made only six out of 15 fouls.

"It was a wild game. It was a strange game, "said Warriors head coach Steve Kerr. "I do not think we did very well in the first half. I was thrilled with the way we started in the second half.


"If we play with such intensity and competitiveness throughout the game, we're in business, but we have to do it for 48 minutes."

Durant opened an hour with a dunk, and Curry's full-body pass to Klay Thompson led to a lightweight basket and a four-point lead, but Portland's Cj McCollum scored the next five.

After a break Draymond Green hit a corner three in which the record of the 311st Warriors sold out record-breaking, but Lillard followed with an acrobatic fall from the third row.

"This is a great way to go out," said Lillard, whose next regular Bay Area game will be on Chase Center Bay.

The Warriors had the ball just 5.1 seconds from the finish, and Durant missed a jumper in the key when the time had run out. A bucket would have made it easier to forget the one-sided loss of the Lakers at Christmas.

"This is a shot I work on every day," Durant said. "I'm angry I missed that."

In the team's anemic free-shot shooting, he added, "Definitely, definitely, if you leave money on the floor. Unacceptable to miss so many free throws. We are pretty efficient on the line. I had two missing seasons in a row, and I think that's what happened to us.

The Warriors underwent a 10-move in the final minutes of the fourth quarter, shortening it to 45-99 with a Durant slump. He then hit a three to tie the score 19.1 seconds before the end.


The ball went to Lillard, whose first chance for a game winner was offline because he was being followed by Thompson. In overtime, it was a different story.

Thompson missed ten of his first 14 shots, including five of his first six three-point attempts, and missed his first three free-throw attempts, which seemed absurd. The team missed nine of its first 10 free-throw attempts.

Green had his fingerprints all over the box with 15 points, 11 rebounds and seven assists, but neither he, Kevon Looney nor anyone else did much to stop the center of Portland Jusef Nurkic, a 7-foot-275-pound Man, who had 27 points.

The Warriors took a lead after the first quarter, but scored 18 in the second half, scoring a halftime of 52-46.

The Warriors opened the second half with a brief spate. Curry hit a 33-foot head and added a no-look pass to Green, whose score was 55-55. But the Blazers held their own in the final quarter by four points.

Portland already has a strong rematch of McCollum and Lillard, but Currys little brother Seth helped Portland in the crisis. The younger Curry hit a three-pointer from far behind the bow to bring the Blazers 83-74 forward, and soon after met another from a long distance.

"It's certainly a weird feeling," Stephen said about his duel with Seth, who finished 11 points. "Tonight was a weird mood, every time we play against each other, something surreal. I enjoy it. Family matter was fun tonight. Obviously, he got the best from us.


John Shea is a writer from the San Francisco Chronicle. E-mail: jshea@sfchronicle.com Twitter: @ JohnSheaHey



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