When asked who has helped with his defense this season, McGee was succinct in his praise, highlighting the efforts of Golden State assistant coach and defensive mastermind Ron Adams: "Shout out to Ron Adams".
The backup big man made all seven of his field-goal attempts and delivered several more of his signature alley-oop dunks as Durant watched with a strained left calf he hurt in the playoff opener Sunday.
Instead, in their 110-81 win on Wednesday night, the Warriors won with sturdy defense and shocking production from the center position.
Their opponent, the Portland Trail Blazers, also played the game without their center, Jusuf Nurkic, who suffered a right leg fracture and is now recovering.
Then the Warriors took control of the game when they finally started stopping McCollum and Lillard in the fourth quarter, happily took the 1-0 lead in this series. and still have so much more to expect from Curry and Thompson (and Durant and Andre Iguodala and a few others).More news: Brighton and Hove Albion secure promotion into Premier League
This seemed to be an inevitability once reports surfaced on Tuesday that Durant suffered a strained calf in Golden State's Game 1 win over Portland over the weeekend.
NOTES: The Warriors went 15-4 during SF Kevin Durant's 19-game absence during the regular season.
There's no doubt that Steph will take a sip of his own Kool-Aid before looking for a statement victory, which is what this would be for Golden State. "So give them credit for playing well defensively, but I certainly know we can play better offense than we did".
Portland (mainly Lillard and McCollum) played no less than stellar the first three quarters of Sunday's game.
"It felt like we were both surrounded by two and three guys each time we got past our defender", Lillard said.More news: Oil has its worst day since March
According to oddsmakers at Bovada.lv, the Warriors are favored at home, as they are getting odds of -13.5 points against the Blazers. "We've got to come back and be ready for the next one". Durant sustained the injury in the game, where he finished with 32 points and 10 rebounds.
Playoff surprises! JaVale McGee turned the Warriors' game 2 into the JaVale McGee show! In Game 1, Lillard and McCollum had the best combined half of their careers.
Kerr hopes to have a healthy lineup for Game 3, though might choose to hold out Durant again given the series lead. "I'm not 100 percent", Nurkic said.
Aside from Kevin Durant, guard Shaun Livingston was also out with an injured hand, and forward Matt Barnes is still recovering from a sprained ankle and foot, giving the team two less players in the rotation. Translated: Portland got good looks, and had its chances.More news: US 'disappointed' at Russia's Syria stance
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