Portland Trail Blazers at Golden State Warriors (-9.5, 208.5 o/u)
When a team wins in its own venue as much as the Golden State Warriors (63-15, 35-2 home), home-court advantage is crucial in the postseason. The Warriors have already sewed up home-court throughout the Western Conference playoffs, and the Steph Curry-led squad will look to continue their home dominance tonight against the Portland Trail Blazers (51-27, 19-19 away).
The Warriors have also been good, but not dominant, on the road this year (28-13), and have dropped their last two in a row against the Spurs and Pelicans.
“We’ve lost our last two, but we’re not going to dwell on that fact,” Curry said. “We pretty much have handled business on the road and we’ve been competitive in every single game besides probably two.”
Golden State returns home tonight to face a Portland team that has won seven of its last nine games. The Blazers have already clinched the Northwest Division title and home-court in the first round of the playoffs, but they could still finish as high as second in the West (currently sitting two games back of Houston and Memphis).
The Blazers stayed hot last time out, downing the Timberwolves 116-91 on Wednesday. Portland’s stars were just that in the win; LaMarcus Aldridge scored 24 points and pulled down 13 rebounds, while Robin Lopez added 18 points and Damian Lillard scored 17 and dished out six assists.
“We know that the more games we win we give ourselves a better chance of having home-court, so we wanted to come out and attack the game,” Lillard said.
Still, despite the nice run, Lillard and company are facing a tough Warriors team that has performed well against Portland on the season, shooting 52.4-percent against the Blazers and winning both meetings to date. (Curry, personally, is averaging 35.2 PPG and 50-percent from beyond the arc in his last five against Portland.)
Despite the recent success against the Blazers, though, the Warriors could be caught looking ahead to the postseason, which is why the Trail Blazers and the points (+9.5) is the play.
(Photo credit: Keith Allison (flickr) [https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/legalcode]. Photo has been cropped.)