OAKLAND - For much of the season, the Warriors' complacency has led to massive letdowns. Game 2 of the Western Conference finals almost provided Golden State's latest contribution to the trend, but the Warriors came back to beat the Portland Trail Blazers in a 114-111 win Thursday night at Oracle Arena.
Despite facing a 15-point halftime deficit, Golden State rallied in the fourth quarter, capped by a strong defensive stand in the final seconds by Andre Iguodala that gave the Warriors a two-games-to-none lead in the best-of-seven series.
That lead should give the Warriors some comfort as they head to Portland for Games 3 and 4 this weekend.
For now, here are the takeaways from an entertaining Game 2.
Warriors take the fourth quarter: After coasting for much of the night Golden State, finished the game on a 14-3 run that was keyed by the defensive exploits of Draymond Green. He passed, blocked and shot the Warriors back into a game the team had no business winning.
It's fitting Green was crucial down the stretch. After Kevin Durant went out with a calf injury in Game 5 of the NBA playoff second-round series with the Houston Rockets, Green averaged 12 points, 10.6 rebounds and 7.6 rebounds entering Thursday evening.
“If we compete can’t nobody can beat us, and even sometimes when we don’t compete people still can’t beat us," Green told reporters during a routine regular-season media scrum two months ago.
He proved those words to be true once again Thursday.
Splash Brothers arrive: The opposition is usually in trouble when just one of either Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry has a high-scoring game. Both showed up for Golden State on Thursday.
Thompson scored 13 of his 24 points in the third quarter -- helping the Warriors overcome a 15-point deficit -- while Curry finished with a game-high 37.
With Kevin Durant out for at least the rest of the series, the scoring burden will fall on these two, which will certainly prompt a sense of nostalgia from Warriors fans. But if they can continue their binge from Game 2, Golden State should be in good shape.
Complacency rears its ugly head: Lack of focus has hindered Golden State since the season began eight months ago. It manifested once again in the second quarter Thursday, as the Warriors were outscored 34-21.
Blazers guard Damian Lillard, who the Warriors kept scoreless through the first 12 minutes, scored 10 points in the second frame. That included three moonshots from 3-point range, helping the Blazers to a 65-50 lead into halftime.
While the Warriors dominated the rest of the way, their second-quarter performance was indicative of their lackadasical-at-times midnset that appeared throughout the season. They can beat just about anyone in the league when they're engaged, but when they aren't, they can be beaten down the line.