Local: 503.250.1080
    Toll Free: 866.358.1080
| More
NBA Basketball
Scoreboard|Postseason|Stats|Standings|Teams|Players|Player News|Injuries|Transactions

Blazers beat Warriors 90-74 in preseason finale

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

By ANTONIO GONZALEZ

AP Sports Writer

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) The taxing preseason, which included two games in China, is finally over. Whether the Golden State Warriors are ready to live up to lofty expectations remains unclear.

Damian Lillard scored 21 points, LaMarcus Aldridge added 16 points and 12 rebounds, and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied to beat the Warriors 90-74 Thursday night in the preseason finale for both teams.

"There are certain teams with different mentalities and agendas going into the preseason. Some teams, we were there once, it's important to win ball games," Warriors coach Mark Jackson said. "For some teams it's important to stay healthy. Some teams you just want to establish a rhythm. I think the two latter ones were us. The danger is you can't believe you can turn it on when you want to."

The Warriors will carry that message into the regular-season opener against the Los Angeles Lakers on Wednesday night.

Golden State led by 11 early in the third quarter before the Blazers scored 22 straight points. The Warriors missed 17 shots in a row and were held scoreless for more than 8 minutes during Portland's run.

Stephen Curry had 17 points and six assists, and Klay Thompson scored 16 points for the Warriors, who blew a double-digit lead for the second straight game. Golden State lost 91-90 at Sacramento on Wednesday night after leading by 17 points in the third quarter.

"That's going to be our Achilles' heel. When we're not making shots, how do we defend? What's our personality going to be?" said new addition Andre Iguodala, who had nine points, four rebounds and two assists.

The Warriors ended the preseason 3-4, including wins against the Lakers in Beijing and Shanghai. Portland won its final five games to finish the preseason 5-2.

"Just as we ignored the predictions last year that we weren't going to make the playoffs," forward David Lee said, "we're not going to let the positive outlook change the way we work."

Jackson said he feels satisfied with the way the preseason ended because the Warriors emerged "relatively healthy." The third-year coach still never really got the chance to experiment with lineups in the exhibitions like he had hoped.

Small forward Harrison Barnes missed the last four games with left foot inflammation. His status for the regular-season opener is murky.

Lee also sat out Thursday after undergoing dental work on his two front teeth, which were loosed by an inadvertent elbow from Jason Thompson in the loss at Sacramento. Lee is not expected to miss any time.

Adding to the concerns, Nemanja Nedovic - drafted 30th overall out of Serbia - landed hard on his left wrist and lower back after Mo Williams fouled him on a layup attempt in the fourth quarter. Officials called a flagrant foul but downgraded it to a common foul after a video review.

The Warriors have less than a week to rest up and regroup - not to mention sort out the rotation. With the addition of Iguodala, the question remains: Who will come off the bench?

All five starters - Curry, Thompson, Barnes, Lee and Andrew Bogut - are back from a team that won 47 games last season before beating the Denver Nuggets in the first round of the playoffs and losing to the eventual Western Conference champion San Antonio Spurs in six games. Either Barnes or Thompson will come off the bench.

Jackson is still trying to find the right combination, especially after wasting leads in consecutive losses, albeit in the preseason.

"It is somewhat of a concern, but not overly concerned," Jackson said. "I think that second unit, probably in a normal game, someone will be in there as a calming effect - not just a scorer, but a guy that could get us good looks. With that being said, leaving a starter in the game to take some of the pressure off would be ideal."

Thompson started his third straight game in the preseason finale, which is usually more of a showcase for unproven players than the regulars, though neither coach treated it that way.

Second-year Blazers coach Terry Stotts mixed up his backcourt rotation throughout, but leaned on Lillard when it mattered most.

The reigning NBA Rookie of the Year and Oakland native started the Blazers' big run with a 3-pointer. He made another from beyond the arc to put Portland up 76-59 early in the fourth.

Wesley Matthews (irregular heartbeat), C.J. McCollum (fractured left foot) and former California guard Allen Crabbe (stomach flu) all sat out for the Blazers.

Updated October 25, 2013

w4 © 2014 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

The Fan's Top Stories

Seahawks put Super Bowl win in the past


(AP) Soon after the parade and television appearances and celebrations were over, the message changed for the Seattle Seahawks. Winning the first Super Bowl in franchise history was just that - history. More.

Manziel's jersey top seller in NFL


(AP) Second on Cleveland's depth chart, Johnny Manziel already tops one NFL list. The popular rookie quarterback, who will begin his first training camp this week as a backup . . . more.

Big 12 commish warns of big NCAA changes


(AP) Big 12 Commissioner Bob Bowlsby had a dire warning Monday for anyone who likes intercollegiate athletics the way they are now. More.

Eagles ready for Super Bowl run


(AP) After a worst-to-first season that far surpassed expectations, the Philadelphia Eagles finished with a bitter taste because of a first-round playoff loss. It also made them more determined. More.

Rory dominates British Open on The FAN


(AP) Rory McIlroy clutched the treasured piece of silverware, his reward for winning golf's oldest major championship. Now he's got his eyes on a new jacket. Something in green . . . more.

James tweets for help in picking number


(AP) LeBron James has to make another big decision. The NBA superstar turned to social media Friday to help him choose which number he'll wear next season with the Cavaliers. James wrote . . . more.

NFL to restrict evaluations of underclassmen


(AP) The NFL will limit the number of underclassmen who can receive evaluations for the draft to five from a single school, although special exceptions will be allowed. Concerned about the record 107 underclassmen who . . . more.