Portland Trail Blazers vs. Golden State Warriors Pick & Prediction DECEMBER 17th 2023


Stephen Curry could feel the drama surrounding the Golden State Warriors wearing on him, what with the chatter about the team’s dynasty bordering on extinction, the latest suspension for Draymond Green and the ledger showing more losses than victories.

So when the going got tough Saturday night, Curry put the Warriors on his back in the final quarter and Golden State was soon celebrating a victory. Curry now looks to help the Warriors win back-to-back games for the first time in more than six weeks when they visit the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday night.

Curry scored 37 points in the 124-120 home win over the Brooklyn Nets and was unstoppable in the fourth quarter as he scored 16 points on 7-of-7 shooting, including two 3-pointers.

His scoring spree helped Golden State win for just the fifth time in the past 17 contests. And it was a feel-good moment for Curry, coming just days after the team met Wednesday to discuss some issues, including Green being suspended indefinitely for decking Jusuf Nurkic of the Phoenix Suns with a hit to the face.

“There has been a lot of conversations, a lot of noise around us and we had a meeting the day before the (Los Angeles Clippers) game that was important for us to settle where we were and what was going on,” Curry said. “Everybody said how they felt.

“The game of basketball presents a lot of challenges on the court but the friendships that you have and the connections that you have, especially a guy like Draymond who we have been to war with for over a decade, all of that does weigh on you because you’re trying to figure it out. It’s just basketball but there is a lot of stress you carry to perform while you’re managing all the emotions that were going on.”

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said Curry’s splurge was huge for the team.

“It gave us confidence,” Kerr said. “I think that’s the biggest issue when you’re struggling, you’re maybe emotionally spent a little bit. You have to find confidence and so I think Steph just infuses us with confidence.”

The Warriors, who have won four of the past nine NBA titles, last won consecutive games on Nov. 1 and 3.

They will take aim at accomplishing that against the Trail Blazers, who have lost six straight games. That is only Portland’s second-longest skid of the season, behind an eight-gamer last month.

The Trail Blazers have dropped the first two contests of a five-game homestand, including Saturday’s 131-120 loss to the Dallas Mavericks.

Anfernee Simons had 33 points, eight rebounds and six assists for Portland. Teammate Jerami Grant returned from a four-game absence due to a concussion to score 27 points on 12-of-20 shooting.

“It felt good to be back out there, but I wish we would have got the win,” Grant said.

The quartet of Simons, Grant, Deandre Ayton and Malcolm Brogdon all played in the same game for just the second time this season. The first occasion was the season-opening loss against the Los Angeles Clippers, a contest in which Simons sustained a thumb injury and missed the next 18 games.

Portland coach Chauncey Billups said having everyone back — all four have missed time with injuries — feels like starting over.

“It does. It’s essentially like being at the start of the season,” Billups said. “It takes teams two to three weeks to figure out the real rotation and who plays better with who. It takes time. You can’t just throw guys back together.”

Golden State has won seven of the past eight meetings.

–Field Level Media

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