Golden State Warriors guard Stephen Curry reacts after a basket by Jonathan Kuminga.
The Golden State Warriors made history in their onslaught against the Portland Trail Blazers, scoring 55 points in the first quarter to beat the previous record of 51 points held by both the Charlotte Hornets and Warriors as the most points scored in the first quarter of a game in NBA history. Klay Thompson also became one of three NBA players to hit more than 300 3-pointers in a single season after successfully making five threes in the first quarter.
The game played in the first quarter epitomized what the Defending Champions of the NBA were capable of: They dominated the range with 12 3s made under their typical pick-and-roll play alongside catch-and-shoot, allowing range shooting for Thompson and Jordan Poole while still making opportunities for cut-ins to the paint with the assists made by Stephen Curry. The open 3s made by Poole seemed especially reassuring before the playoffs, as Poole struggled to score any goals in the previous game against Sacramento Kings.
Ultimately, the even distribution of 3s made by the different players–Klay Thompson, Jordan Poole, and Stephan Curry–opened up the court for cut-in players such as Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga to exploit the paint area. Naturally, the ball movement of the team allowed more creative plays as Gary Payton II scored in the paint using a flare screen, and Curry showcased his smooth layup using the wrist.
Gary Payton II, who rejoined the Warriors after being traded from the Trail Blazers, had notable plays on the defense as he made two steals in the first quarter, fueling the transition offense with his ball-picking. Thus, the face-paced offense from catch and shoot alongside the quick transitions resulting from Payton’s defense allowed the Warriors to gain momentum early on in the game and leverage themselves more than 20 points ahead of their opponents in just the beginning 12 minutes of the game.
Another factor that played into the Dubs’ historical first quarter was the absence of key players from the Trail Blazers. The Portland Trail Blazers summed up their season early on in the week as they were eliminated from the playoffs and took out their role player Damian Lillard for the remainder of the season.
In their regular season finale, the Dubs Dynasty secured the 6th seed for the playoffs after a dominant performance over the Trail Blazers as they finished the game 157 - 101. The Golden State Warriors will face the Sacramento Kings in the first round of the NBA Playoffs.