Keep Pace

The Golden State Warriors play at a pace that allows them to have a short memory, knowing after a bad possession there's always another chance to score just seconds away.

Forgetting what the Portland Trail Blazers have done against them is a different story.

Golden State looks for its seventh win in nine games on Sunday when it hosts Portland, the last team to hold the Warriors under 100 points - 22 games ago.

Oddsmakers from SBG Global have made Golden State –5.5 point spread favorites (NBA Odds) for today’s game, the over/under has been set at 211 total points (Matchup). Our public betting information shows that 92% of bets for this game have been placed on Golden State -5.5 (View NBA Bet Percentages).

Coach Don Nelson's team is averaging a league-high 110.1 points this season, but has scored 113.4 per game in its last 21 contests, going 15-6 to move into the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference. Golden State (35-22) is five games ahead of 10th-place Portland (31-28).

The Warriors have failed to score in triple digits only eight times this season - twice against the Trail Blazers. Portland limited Golden State to 18 points in the fourth quarter en route to a 105-95 win on Dec. 12, then held the Warriors to 14 in the first period of a 109-91 victory on Jan. 9.

"They're terrific," Nelson said following that loss. "They match up well with us and we don't match up well with them."

Golden State has matched up well with most of its opponents lately, and that's been largely due to Monta Ellis. The 6-foot-3 guard is just third on his team in scoring at 19.2 points per game, but he was one of the league's best players last month.

Ellis averaged 26.0 points, 4.8 assists and 4.7 rebounds while shooting 60.2 percent in February, becoming only the ninth guard ever to shoot 60 percent in a month.

He scored 21 points to close the month on Friday in the Warriors' 119-97 rout of Philadelphia.

"Monta's on fire. He's one of the hardest players in the league to guard," teammate Matt Barnes said. "If you come up on him, he'll go by you. If you back off, he can hit his shot. Monta's becoming a superstar and is really tough to stop."

Ellis missed Golden State's first meeting with Portland and scored only 10 points in the teams' second game.

His backcourt mate, Baron Davis, had a poor start to the month, scoring five points on Feb. 1, and only had four on Friday to close February. But in between he averaged 22.4 points, 7.8 assists and 3.0 steals per game.

When the Blazers beat the Warriors in January, it was their 17th win in 18 games. They're just 9-15 since, but enter this matchup having put together consecutive victories for the first time in nearly two months.

Portland beat the Los Angeles Clippers 82-80 on the road on Wednesday, then came home to snap the Lakers' 10-game winning streak with a 119-111 victory on Friday.

"We were having fun out there," said guard Brandon Roy, who had 20 points and a career-high 12 assists Friday. "Hopefully this confidence rolls over to the rest of the season."

Roy had been out the past two games with a sprained ankle, and had been struggling with his shot in his last six games before the injury, shooting 38.3 percent.

Roy has hit 38.2 percent from the field while averaging just 14.5 points versus Golden State this season. Backup James Jones, though, has averaged 18.5 points - more than double his season average - to help Portland win both meetings.

By: Marc Young - theSpread.com - Email Us

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