3. Live by the one, die by the one
The Trail Blazers managed to push ahead to such a big lead thanks in part to their free throw shooting. They went 16-of-22 from the charity stripe in the first half. Portland also managed to avoid committing too many shooting fouls along the way. Golden State attempted just 11 free throws in the half despite the Blazers only committing two fewer fouls.
However, that offensive aggressiveness did not seem to carry over after the halftime intermission. Rip City attempted just 11 free throws in their second-half collapse. Even worse, they only made four of them. This includes a 2-of-7 fourth quarter where stars Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum made one each.
Accumulating free throws are a good way to keep a team in control. However, if a team can’t maintain that aggression for a full 48 minutes, it’s not surprising that the opponent will come charging back.
It’s hard to tell why the light went out for a normally sound shooting Blazers team in the second half, but their sudden inability to get to and connect at the free throw line played a huge factor in this crushing loss.