Eric Paschall leads Warriors to first win at Chase Center
SAN FRANCISCO — Rookie forward Eric Paschall hit a key 3-pointer with 4:05 remaining and finished with 34 points and 13 rebounds for his best game yet, leading the injury-plagued Golden State Warriors to a 127-118 victory against Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers on Monday night for their first home win at last.
Without all their injured stars, the young Warriors more than hung tough — they shined — against a Western Conference contender to give Golden State its first victory at new Chase Center as Klay Thompson cheered from the sideline. The Warriors hadn’t begun 0-5 at home since losing their initial six home games in 1997-98.
Lillard, no longer playing in his hometown of Oakland when he visits the Bay Area, notched his fourth 30-point performance in the first seven games with 39 points on 15-for-26 shooting, including five 3-pointers. Blazers center Hassan Whiteside added 22 points and 11 rebounds after missing one game with a bone bruise in his left knee.
Golden State, which swept Portland in the Western Conference finals on the way to a fifth straight NBA Finals appearance, led 90-83 early in the fourth quarter before the Blazers fought back.
Paschall’s late 3 put the Warriors ahead 107-99. Chants of “M-V-P!” greeted him when he shot free throws with 2:22 left. He also hit a pair of 3-pointers to start the game while playing on his 23rd birthday. He scored 17 points in the opening period, and Paschall has scored 20 or more in all three games he has started. He had 25 in Golden State’s loss to Charlotte on Saturday, becoming the first Warriors rookie with back-to-back games of 25 points since Stephen Curry had five in a row in April 2010, according to the Elias Sports Bureau.
Fellow rookie Ky Bowman had 19 points and eight assists for the Warriors, who faced their worst start since beginning the 2000-01 season 1-7. But Golden State made five of its first eight shots to take an early 14-9 lead and kept bringing the energy and enthusiasm on both ends. Paschall and Bowman combined to shoot 20 for 33 — 11 of 19 by Paschall. He also made all eight of his free throws.
With 6:13 to go, Bowman drove to the basket and scored, then tangled with Whiteside, who pushed off with an elbow. Officials went to replay and issued Whiteside a technical.
CJ McCollum had 14 points and six assists for the Blazers, whose previous four games were decided by a total of nine points, including a 129-128 home loss to the 76ers on Saturday.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr knew the terrific backcourt tandem of Lillard and McCollum provided a tough matchup.
“They’re really tough to guard even for a veteran team. For a young group, we’re probably going to learn some lessons tonight,” Kerr said.
The Warriors improved to 3-10 without Splash Brothers Curry and Thompson, according to Elias — 1-2 this season, 2-6 in 2018-19, 0-1 in 2016-17 and 0-1 in 2015-16. Playing without just Curry, Golden State is 44-68 since 2009-10, including 5-8 last season.