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Testy Stotts, Blazers left in search of Curry answer

6:36 AM ET

  • Tim MacMahonESPN Employees Author

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    • Joined ESPNDallas.com in September 2009
    • Covers the Dallas Cowboys and Dallas Mavericks
    • Seems often on ESPN Dallas 103.Three FM

OAKLAND, Calif. — The technique of defending Stephen Curry was a testy topic for Portland Path Blazers coach Terry Stotts after the Golden State Warriors star torched the Blazers 116-94 in Recreation 1 of the Western Convention finals.

After Curry scored a game-high 36 factors Tuesday night time, Stotts responded with dry sarcasm when requested if he thought of utilizing traps just like the Houston Rockets did within the earlier spherical as an alternative of getting the massive man drop again in pick-and-roll protection.

“I can not bear in mind — when he had 33 within the second half, had been they trapping then?” Stotts stated, referring to Curry’s efficiency within the Recreation 6 win to shut out the convention semifinals towards the Rockets. “They had been? And he scored 33 within the second half? OK, yeah, we’ll have a look at that.”

Portland is definitely looking for options after Curry matched his profession playoff excessive for made 3-pointers with 9 on 15 makes an attempt within the Western Convention finals opener. In keeping with ESPN Stats & Info, seven of the 3s Curry swished had been uncontested pictures.

“That was very poor execution defensively on our half,” stated Portland level guard Damian Lillard, who scored 19 factors however was solely 4-of-12 from the ground and dedicated seven turnovers. “Simply having our bigs again that far; understanding the crew we’re enjoying towards, they don’t seem to be going to shoot midrange jumpers and attempt to assault the rim. In the event that they see the chance to shoot a 3, they’ll inform you. They shoot it at a excessive clip. We have to convey our guys up and run them off the road, and tonight, they had been setting stable screens and coming off capturing follow pictures.

“That is the very last thing we want if we need to have any likelihood to beat this crew.”

Heart Enes Kanter confirmed that the Blazers’ sport plan towards Curry was for the on-ball defender to struggle via screens whereas the massive man dropped again in protection.

“Within the fourth quarter, we type of modified it,” Kanter stated. “However I believe it will change within the second sport.”

Whereas Curry completed the second spherical with a flourish — scoring all 33 of his Recreation 6 factors within the second half, together with 23 within the fourth quarter — he struggled for a lot of the collection towards the Rockets. Curry had a very poor capturing collection, hitting solely 40.Three p.c of his pictures from the ground and 27.9 p.c from 3-point vary within the West semifinals.

Curry had no such issues Tuesday night time, when he picked Portland aside, going 12-of-23 from the ground, allotting seven assists and committing just one turnover.

Determining higher methods to comprise Curry can be one among Portland’s main focuses in the course of the day without work earlier than Recreation 2.

“Something however what we did tonight,” Blazers guard CJ McCollum stated.

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