Fresh off Damian Lillard’s absurd 71-point game on Sunday night, the Portland Trail Blazers may need another such performance to win at the Golden State Warriors tonight. As is always the case out in the Western Conference at this point, this game could have a direct impact on the playoff standings, with the Blazers just 1.5 games behind the Warriors for the No. 7 seed, yet currently outside the play-in entirely.
Here are our free NBA picks and predictions for Trail Blazers vs. Warriors on February 28, with tip set for 10:00 p.m. ET.
Trail Blazers vs Warriors best odds
Trail Blazers vs Warriors picks and predictions
If anyone else had referred to themselves as the “modern-day Reggie,” as in, Reggie Miller, they would have been questioned. Perhaps even ridiculed. When Klay Thompson did it, though, all of the NBA world pretty much just nodded along this week.
If Klay had been trying to be a jerk, he would have argued he is better than the NBA Hall of Famer. After all, his career 3-point shooting percentage is more than two points better than Miller’s, he has averaged 1.5 more points per game and, oh yeah, he has won four titles.
Some of that can be attributed to situation and era: Thompson has played with better teammates than Miller ever enjoyed, no offense to Jermaine O’Neal or Rik Smits. And points are more prevalent nowadays, obviously.
Some of Thompson’s thinking presumably applied to mindset. “Game 6 Klay” has that ruthless killer instinct that made Miller famous against the Knicks, among others. Players like that hold grudges, create slights, and notice when others near their territory.
In scoring 71 points on Sunday against the Rockets, Damian Lillard neared Klay’s territory. Lillard was chucking late, a good bit out of game flow, trying to make his 14th three of the game, looking to tie Klay’s record set in October of 2018. Of the nine times a player has hit at least 12 threes in a game, five of them were Klay or Steph Curry.
Thompson undoubtedly noticed Lillard’s late-game shooting and made mental note of it heading into tonight. Maybe he doesn’t hit the six threes needed to cash some plus-value on that exact prop, but scoring more than 27 points feels like a near certainty.
Furthermore, Thompson has cracked 28 points or more in six of his last 12 games and two of his last three. When Steph doesn’t play this season, Klay’s averaging 27.0 points per game, a number deflated by his own return-to-form early in the season. Focus that on games after Christmas, and Klay’s averaged 31.1 points per game in 12 games without Steph.
Klay knows the Warriors need him more than ever, particularly as they cling to hopes of avoiding the play-in entirely. Tonight, he can conjure up some Lillard-focused anger. And he can display it all against a decently-lackluster defensive Portland backcourt. Numerous guards have gone off against the Trail Blazers this year — Shai Gilgeous-Alexander for 44, Dejounte Murray for 40, Zach LaVine for 36 and, notably, Jordan Poole for 38 all within the last month. Thompson should join them tonight.
My best bet: Klay Thompson Over 27.5 points (-113)
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Trail Blazers vs Warriors spread analysis
The earliest opening lines, late Monday, gave the Warriors a 3.5-point edge, but by Tuesday morning that had grown to -4.0 across the board. Considering the Blazers are 2-5-1 ATS in their last eight, and that has included Lillard averaging 41.3 points in his seven games in that stretch, not too much faith should be placed in Portland tonight.
Golden State has remained in genuine playoff contention — despite injuries sabotaging what may be the last year of its dynasty — largely thanks to at-home dominance. The Warriors are 19-11-1 ATS at home, not to mention 24-7 straight up. Meanwhile, the Blazers are an average 14-15 ATS on the road.
Trail Blazers vs Warriors Over/Under analysis
The total opened at 236.0 or 236.5, depending on your book, before coalescing at 235.5. Considering the Over is 5-1 in Portland’s last six games, there may be a quick instinct to hop on that, especially when Damian Lillard is coming off a 71-point game, and the best bet here recommends backing a Klay Thompson outburst.
But remember, the Under is 3-0 in Golden State’s last three games and 4-1-1 in the last six matchups between these two guard-focused teams. With the playoff stakes tonight, defensive intensity may ratchet up in the fourth quarter.
Trail Blazers vs Warriors betting trend to know
Portland is 1-3-1 ATS in its last five games against Golden State, a stretch dating back to the beginning of last season. Find more NBA betting trends for Trail Blazers vs. Warriors.
Trail Blazers vs Warriors game info
||Chase Center, San Francisco, CA
||Tuesday, February 28, 2023
||10:00 p.m. ET
||NBCS-BA, ROOT Sports
Trail Blazers vs Warriors key injuries
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