SportsPulse: Maybe Kevin Durant can take this week off anyways? The Trail Blazers looked sluggish and need to regroup quick, otherwise it could be a very short series says Martin Rogers.
Damian Lillard needs to be better.
He’s Portland’s best player, by far, and performances like Tuesday night’s — 19 points on 4-for-12 shooting and seven turnovers — aren’t going to cut it against the defending champion Golden State Warriors.
But the Blazers’ 116-94 loss in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals wasn’t only on him. When Lillard struggled in Game 7 of the conference semifinals against Denver, CJ McCollum was there to pick up the slack with 37 points. In Game 1? Seventeen points on 7-for-19 shooting, including 1-for-5 from 3-point range. Again … not going to cut it.
We rank the top-five performers from Tuesday night’s Game 1:
1. Stephen Curry, Warriors — The two-time MVP erupted for 36 points (the same as Lillard and McCollum combined), filling the void as Kevin Durant remains sidelined with a calf injury. He also sunk nine 3-pointers and had seven assists, six rebounds…