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Golden State Warriors hit 17 three-pointers
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Golden State Warriors hit 17 three-pointers, roll Portland Trail Blazers 116-94

May 15 ------ Portland finds itself playing uphill in a playoff series again after Golden State beat the Blazers 116-94 in the opening game of the Western Conference finals Tuesday night in Oakland. Stephen Curry hit nine three-pointers and scored 36 points to lead the two-time defending NBA champion Warriors to a 1-0 series lead.

Portland, which rallied from a Game 1 loss to beat Denver in seven in the conference semifinals, shot only 36.6 percent (30 of 83) from the floor while committing 21 turnovers. Damian Lillard led Portland with 19 points, while C.J. McCollum, Rodney Hood and Maurice Harkless had 17 points each. Enes Kanter had a double-double with 10 points and 16 rebounds. Led by Curry, Golden State shot 17 of 33 from three-point range. Klay Thompson scored 26 for the Warriors. Game 2 is Thursday at 6 p.m. in Oakland. The series heads to Portland for Game 3 on Saturday.

This was Portland’s first Western Conference finals appearance since 2000, when the Blazers lost to the Los Angeles Lakers in seven games. Portland won conference finals series in 1977, 1990 and 1992. The Blazers have lost seven consecutive postseason games to Golden State, dating back to the 2016 playoffs.

As poorly as Portland’s offense played Tuesday, the Blazers kept contact until the final minutes. Portland only trailed by six heading into the fourth quarter, and 97-88 with 4:47 remaining. Portland got off to a mixed start. The Blazers scored the first five points, but by the time the game was six minutes old, they had four turnovers and trailed 13-9. Golden State led throughout the rest of the first quarter, but Hood, who left Sunday’s game at Denver with a knee injury, knocked down a three-pointer at the buzzer to trim the deficit to 27-23.