The Warriors trailing after the first half, rally to take a 3-0 series lead over the Portland Trail Blazers 119-113

by Jerry Feitelberg

Portland, Oregon-The Golden State Warriors, after being behind by 17 points late in the first half, came to life in the third quarter and defeated the Portland TrailBlazers 119-113 to take a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series. The Warriors can close out the series Monday night in Portland.

The Dubs only lead in the first half came when Draymond Green hit a 3-pointer early in the first quarter to give the Dubs the lead 3-2. From that point forward, the Blazers, behind the hot hands of Damien Lillard and C.J. McCollum raced out to 65-48 advantage late in the first half. Steph Curry hit a three to close the gap to 67-54 at the finish of 24 minutes of play. Lillard tallied 22 for Portland and his backcourt companion, C.J. McCollum knocked down 17. Steph Curry was the only Warrior in double figures with 15. Klay Thompson was held to just 7 points. Draymond Green also had seven. Big Ja Vale McGee, who has been a spark coming off the bench, did it again Saturday night. He tallied 8 points, and his presence seemed to give the Dubs a lift.

The Blazers had everything going their way. They were moving the ball and finding the open man. The Warriors were out of sync. The Blazers outrebounded the Warriors 29-13, and each team had 9 assists. The Dubs made just 5 3-pointers while Portland made 8. The fans in Portland were convinced that the Blazers were on their way to a win.

The Dubs trailed 82-66 when Ja Vale McGee came back into the game. The Dubs went on a 19-1 run and took the lead 85-83. It was the first lead for the Dubs since early in the first quarter. The Dubs outscored the Blazers 33-21 in the quarter, but the Blazers finished the quarter ahead by just one-point 88-87. The crowd was getting very nervous as they sensed the momentum had shifted and that the Warriors were about to send the Blazers down to defeat.

The fans weren’t wrong. The Blazers gave the Dubs a run for the money as the lead seesawed back and forth. The last time Portland would lead happened when they made a free throw and led 96-95. The Warriors, behind Steph Curry, Andre Iguodala, and Klay Thompson, extended the lead to 108-100. The Blazers cut the deficit to four, but the Dubs would not be denied. Iguodala and Curry mad clutch hoops to nail down the win 119-113.

Game notes and stats- The Dubs’ defense came to life in the second half as the limited the Blazers to just 46 points in the half. They bottled up McCollum and Lillard much of the second half, and the Blazers do not have the manpower to keep up with the Warriors. Kevin Durant, Shaun Livingston, and Matt Barnes did not suit up Saturday night. The Blazers’ Jusuf Nurkic played in his first game since breaking a bone in his leg April 1st. Nurkic gave the Blazers a lift, but he showed a lot of rust and could not jump. He still managed to record 11 rebounds and 4 assists.

Step Curry led the Dubs with 34 points, 8 assists, and 4 rebounds. Klay Thompson finished with 24. Patrick McCaw continued to play well filling in for Kevin Durant. McCaw finished the night with 11 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, and a blocked shot. Andre Iguodala had 16, JaVale McGee 14, and Draymond added 9 points, 7 assists, 8 rebounds, and six big blocks. The Dubs had 11 steals and 11 blocks for the night, The Dubs committed just 7 turnovers.

Warriors’ head coach Steve Kerr missed the game with an undisclosed illness. Assistant coach Mike Brown filled in for Kerr. Andre Iguodala said this about Brown:” I think he did a really good job of keeping us poised.”

Game four of the series will be at the Moda Center in Portland Monday night. Game time will be at 7:30 pm.



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