The Golden State Warriors came back from eight points down entering the fourth quarter and then survived Nicolas Batum’s attempt to tie and then win the game in the closing moments of a 113-112 win over the Portland Trail Blazers at the Moda Center Sunday night. The Warriors came back from 18 points down in the third quarter to get an important win in the Western Conference playoff race.
Klay Thompson returned after missing Friday’s loss to Cleveland to attend his grandfather’s funeral in the Bahamas and buried his father’s former team with a 3-pointer with 11.9 seconds remaining that game Golden State (42-26) a 113-111 lead.
Thompson’s dad, Mychal Thompson, was a former No. 1 overall pick by Portland in 1978.
Damian Lillard missed a potential game-tying layup with 6.9 seconds left and Batum corraled the rebound and was fouled by Andre Iguodala with 5.8 seconds remaining.
Batum hit the first free throw to cut the Portland deficit to one, but with a chance to tie it and potentially force overtime, Batum misfired on the second free throw, chased down the offensive rebound and missed a 3-point heave from 27 feet out as time expired.
The Warriors shook off a sluggish first half to shoot 59 percent from the floor in the second half, including 9-of-17 from beyond the arc, as the Splash Brothers combined for 51 points after intermission. Stephen Curry scored 28 of his game-high 37 points in the second half and Thompson had 23 of his 27 in the final two periods as the Warrior guard tandem nearly outscored the entire Portland squad over the final 24 minutes.
Curry was 8-for-15 in the second half, including 5-of-8 from distance, and Thompson was 8-for-14 and canned 3-of-6 from the land of plenty.
That contrasted with the first half, when the Warriors shot 38.8 percent, made just 2-of-13 from deep, and fell behind 55-44.
The Thompson-Curry combination proved particularly lethal in the fourth quarter, when they combined to outscore the Blazers by themselves 30-27, hitting 6-of-9 from deep in the quarter.
Lillard scored 26 points and had seven assists for the Trail Blazers (43-24) while Batum had 23 points, 14 rebounds and three steals. Robin Lopez went for 14 points and 10 rebounds, Dorell Wright and Wesley Matthews each scored 13 points and Mo Williams tossed in 12. Portland played without LaMarcus Aldridge, who was inactive after bruising his back in a fall against the Spurs Wednesday night.
Golden State was 42-for-88 (47.7 percent) overall, 11-for-30 (36.7 percent) from 3-point range and 18-for-22 (81.8 percent) from the free-throw line. Portland was 37-for-88 (42 percent), 12-for-28 (42.9 percent) and 26-for-30 (86.7 percent).
The Blazers led on the glass 48-41 and had 14 second-chance points to nine for the Warriors.
With the win, Golden State climbed to within 1½ games of fifth-place Portland in the Western Conference. The Dubs lead Dallas by 1½ games, Memphis by two games and Phoenix by three games in the scramble to fill out the playoff bracket in the West.
The Warriors return to Oracle Arena Tuesday night to host the Orlando Magic at 7:30 p.m.