Golden State take 2-0 lead in NBA Western Conference finals
THE Golden State Warriors, like thieves in the night, crept up on the Portland Trail Blazers and robbed them of a win to take a commanding 2-0 lead in the NBA's Western Conference finals.
"We stole that game," Warriors' coach Steve Kerr told reporters.
The Warriors won 114-111 in Oakland on Friday (AEST) despite trailing by 17 points early in the third quarter.
The Trail Blazers also held an eight-point lead with four minutes left in the game.
The Warriors, seeking their third straight championship and fourth in five years, refused to lose and closed out the game by outscoring the Trail Blazers 14-3.
In the final seconds, Portland's Damian Lilliard had a chance to hit a three-pointer to send the game into overtime but the Warriors' veteran Andre Iguodala stole the ball to clinch the win.
Steph Curry led the Warriors with 37 points, Klay Thompson added 24 and forward Draymond Green was a force with 16 points, 10 rebounds, seven assists and five blocks.
"It is a lost opportunity, no question," Portland coach Terry Stotts said.
The Warriors started Australian centre Andrew Bogut, but after just three minutes benched him for the rest of the game in favour of mobile big men Kevon Looney and Jordan Bell.
Looney finished with 14 points and seven rebounds and Bell 11 points and three rebounds.
Two of Bell's rebounds were on the offensive end at crucial points in the game.
"We need a lot of speed out there," Kerr said, describing the decision to play Bell.
The turning point came in the third quarter when Golden State were down 53-69 and Curry hit a three-pointer and followed with a jump shot.
It sparked a rally with the Warriors outscoring the Trail Blazers 39-24 in the third quarter to even the score at 89-89 heading into the final period.
Portland fought back to take leads, but the champion Warriors refused to be denied.
"It was true testament of literally everybody taking part and helping us win this game," Curry said.
Lillard top-scored for Portland with 23 points and CJ McCollum added 22. Curry's younger brother, Seth, contributed 16 points for Portland, including four of seven three-pointers.
The Warriors are playing without All-Stars Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, who both suffered leg injuries earlier in the play-offs.
Durant has been ruled out of games three and four and is "not close" to returning, the Warriors say.
Game three starts in Portland on Sunday at 11am (AEST).