NBA: Thompson sparkles as Warriors overpower Blazers

OAKLAND, United States, May 4, 2016 (AFP) – Klay Thompson scored 27 points as the Golden State Warriors staged a fourth quarter fightback to defeat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-99 and take a 2-0 lead in their Western Conference semi-final series on Tuesday.

The reigning champion Warriors were caught cold in the first quarter after Portland raced into a double-digit lead, holding a 34-21 advantage heading into the second quarter.

But Golden State, missing the injured Stephen Curry, maintained their composure and chipped away at the Blazers before slowly reeling them in.

The decisive period was the fourth quarter. The Warriors overturned an 11-point deficit with 8:58 remaining, part of a 34-12 fourth quarter spree which settled the contest at the Oracle Arena.

With Curry missing it was down to Thompson to provide the inspiration and the 26-year-old did not disappoint with a superb haul.

Thompson’s points tally included five from 14 three-point attempts.

Draymond Green added 17 points with 14 rebounds and seven assists while Andre Iguodala added 15 points from the bench.

Warriors coach Steve Kerr praised the contribution of backup center Festus Ezeli and Green in the fourth quarter defensive effort.

”Festus just made things a little tougher on their guards,” Kerr said.

”Between Festus and Draymond those guys did a great job of protecting the paint. But everyone deserves credit, not just those two.

”Andre (Iguodala) kept us in the game in the first half when things weren’t going too well. Klay stayed with it. He had a rough start to the game but really came up huge.

”We turned around what was a pretty bad game for us but we had enough time to get back.”

Damian Lillard topscored for Portland with 25 points, adding six assists and four rebounds.

C.J. McCollum was close behind with 22 points and two assists.

Game three in the best-of-seven series takes place in Portland on Saturday.