The real difference that the Warriors brought to Portland was their defensive awareness. In particular, defensive intensity by Draymond Green who, while not stuffing the stat sheet, altered shots and was the defensive presence that was missing in the first three games. This return to form by the two time DPOY runner-up proved to be the defensive catalyst for the Warriors to help spark their flow on the other end.
Warriors’ guard Ian Clark had an amazing night off the bench, playing extremely well defensively on Damian Lillard and having a perfect game shooting. Clark went 8 of 8 from the floor including 3 of 3 from downtown and 3 of 3 from the stripe. With McCaw out with a sprained ankle Clark showed that he is more than worthy to be a main rotational player, finishing drives into the paint and taking DEEP threes without hesitation.
Coming into the second half the Warriors destroyed what little hope the Blazers had at a win with Stephen Curry outscoring the entire Portland team in the quarter and the Warriors beginning to play like the record breaking team from previous seasons. With stops on one end turning into transition threes, the Warriors led by Curry turned a 6 point half time lead into a 27 point blowout by the end of the third.
All of this while Klay Thompson, arguably the second best shooter in the league, shot 0 from 7 from three.
If Thompson is able to find his shot, the Warriors’ chemistry and flow will begin to jive just in time for their first game against the last undefeated team in the Western Conference. The Oklahoma City Thunder.