Lillard says Blazers 'the real deal' after beating Warriors

NBA.com Global on Mar 11, 2018 08:17 AM
Lillard says Blazers 'the real deal' after beating Warriors
Portland Trail Blazers guards CJ McCollum, left, and Damian Lillard react after McCollum hit a 3-point shot during the second half of the team's NBA basketball game against the Golden State Warriors in Portland, Ore., Friday, March 9, 2018. The Blazers won 125-108. (AP Photo/Steve Dykes)

NBA.com staff report

After Friday night's (Saturday, PHL time) games, the Portland Trail Blazers possess the league's longest winning streak (nine games). They have vaulted to third place in a competitive Western Conference. All of that is tied to their most victory, a 125-108 triumph over the defending champion Warriors.

So impressive are their recent credentials that All-Star guard Damian Lillard couldn't hold back from making a declaration after his team's win.

"We're the real deal," he told ESPN's Chris Haynes.

Critics will surely point to the fact that Golden State was playing the second half of a back-to-back, and they were missing star guard Stephen Curry (ankle), as well as rotation players Andre Iguodala, Jordan Bell and David West.

The Warriors, however, are still 11-5 without Curry in the lineup this season. Portland was also resourceful enough to overcome a 40-point night from Kevin Durant and an additional 25 points from Klay Thompson.

If the Blazers are indeed "real" in comparison to years past, it could indicate that Lillard expects more than the first or second-round exits that have been Portland's fate in each of their last four postseason appearances. If the postseason began today, the Blazers would play Minnesota in the opening round, with Golden State potentially waiting in a second-round matchup.

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