(Sports Network) - The Golden State Warriors will try to avoid a third
consecutive loss on Friday when they close out a two-game homestand versus
the Portland Trail Blazers at Oracle Arena.
Golden State kicked off its stay in disappointing fashion on Wednesday, as it
dropped a 94-87 decision to the Memphis Grizzlies.
Stephen Curry paced the Warriors with 24 points, while Klay Thompson logged 20
points, seven rebounds and seven assists in the setback.
It's only the second time this season that Golden State has dropped back-to-
back games. It had won four in a row prior to this slide.
"We played two teams who we are trying to chase. Two teams who are right there
in front of us in the standings who we understand have been playing great
basketball just like we have," Curry said. "There is no need to panic
especially with the month we have coming with the teams coming and the teams
on the road. We just have to keep grinding and play 48 minutes."
Defensively, the Warriors are struggling, especially inside where they allow
an average of 40.8 points in the paint. However, they gave up 56 in a loss to
the Los Angeles Clippers on Saturday then 60 to the Grizzlies.
Golden State is 5-10 when yielding at least 41 points in the paint and 17-2
when allowing 40 or fewer.
"That's the strength of their team, is grinding in the paint and offensive
rebounding," said David Lee, who has double-doubles in 11 of his last 14 games
against Portland, including each of the last three. "It's disappointing,
because that's been one of our strengths throughout the season, and we've just
got to come back and do a better job of it next game."
Portland, meanwhile, comes into tonight's tilt following a thrilling win over
the Miami Heat. The Trail Blazers won their ninth straight home game on
Thursday, as Wesley Matthews nailed a pair of 3-pointers in the final minute,
including the go-ahead triple with 26.9 seconds left in a 92-90 win.
"You believe, you play hard, you compete, you play the right way and you play
with confidence, the basketball gods look out for you," Matthews said.
Nicolas Batum had 28 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Portland,
which has won four in a row overall and hasn't dropped a home decision since
Dec. 8 against the Sacramento Kings.
Portland took three of four from the Warriors last season, but has dropped 12
of 14 and 13 of 17 as the visitors in this series.
The Sports Network