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Stephen Curry poured in 26 points in 22 minutes and the Golden State Warriors produced a record-setting first quarter as they clinched a Western Conference playoff spot with a 157-101 shellacking of the host Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday, April 9 (Monday, April 10, Manila time).
All 13 players who suited up scored for the Warriors (44-38), who wound up in sixth place in the West. The Los Angeles Clippers (44-38) won at Phoenix to finish tied with Golden State, but Los Angeles held the tiebreaker to earn the fifth seed.
The Warriors draw the third-seeded Kings (48-34) in the first round of the playoffs.
Meanwhile, Portland (33-49) wrapped up the fifth-worst record in the NBA and a seat in the front row of next month’s draft lottery.
Needing a win to assure themselves of a playoff spot, the Warriors wasted no time leaving the Trail Blazers in the dust. They set an NBA record for first-quarter points with 55, making 20 of 29 shots overall and 12 of 18 from three-point range en route to a 28-point lead.
Golden State’s Klay Thompson contributed five three-pointers and 17 points in the opening quarter. His fifth three-pointer was his league-leading 300th of the season. Jordan Poole added 12 in the opening period and Curry had 8 to complement 6 of Golden State’s 18 assists in the frame.
In wrapping up the regular season on an 8-2 roll, the Warriors shot 60.4% overall and 55.1% (27 of 49) from deep. The 27 treys tied a franchise record.
Thompson wound up 6-for-11 from beyond the arc, putting a bow on the league’s three-point crown over Indiana’s Buddy Hield and Curry, who went 5-for-10 from deep in the game.
Moses Moody came off the bench to score 25 points for Golden State, while Poole had 21, Thompson 20, Jonathan Kuminga 15, and Donte DiVincenzo 10 to go with 8 assists and 5 steals.
In his return to Portland, Gary Payton II chipped in with 8 rebounds along with 4 points, 4 assists, and 4 steals.
All five Trail Blazers starters scored in double figures, led by Skylar Mays with 21. Mays also handed out a game-high 12 assists.
Shaedon Sharpe added 18 points to go with a team-high 7 rebounds, while Jeenathan Williams had 17 points for Portland, which was playing its second afternoon affair in two days. Kevin Knox II totaled 13 points and Trendon Watford finished with 11. – Rappler.com