Extra Dribbles: Short-handed Warriors put 3-0 stranglehold on Trail Blazers

By Joe Hawkes-Beamon
Sports Radio Service Writer

PORTLAND — Stephen Curry scored a game-high 34 points to go along with eight assists and Klay Thompson finished with 24 points and the Warriors erased a 16-point third quarter deficit to put the Trail Blazers on the brink of elimination with a hard-fought 119-113 victory Saturday night in Portland.

Both Curry (10-of-25) and Thompson (8-of-21) struggled in the first half before finding their respective strokes in the second half.

Andre Iguodala scored 16 points and Patrick McCaw (starting his second career postseason game), added 11 points.

Draymond Green had another stat-sheet filling night with nine points, eight rebounds, seven assists, and six blocks.

With the win, Golden State snaps a five-game postseason losing streak in Game 3s. Through the first three games, Golden State’s +47 combined win margin is the largest for any playoff series in franchise history.

Golden State can send the Trail Blazers fishing for the summer with a win in Game 4 on Monday night in Portland.

Without head coach Steve Kerr (illness), Kevin Durant (calf), Shaun Livingston (hand), and Matt Barnes (ankle),  the Golden State Warriors resembled more of the walking wounded rather than the NBA’s best team entering Game 3 of their best-of-7 series; but played smart and calm down the stretch that resulted in the victory.

Check out my takeaways below that led to Golden State’s win:

Golden State owned the third quarter: Trailing 82-66 after a Damian Lillard finger roll with 6:20 left in the third quarter, the Warriors stormed back with a 19-1 run, taking an 85-83 lead when JaVale McGee slammed through a lob with 2:01 left in the quarter.

Golden State overcame a 16-point hole and 52-42 rebounding edge by the Blazers to neutralize Portland to 30.4-percent shooting for the quarter. During their hot run, Golden State held Portland to 0-of-8 shooting, with three turnovers.

Per ESPN Stats and Information, Thompson made more 3s in the third (4) than total field goals made (3) in the first half.

The Warriors ended the third quarter on a 21-6 run.

Take another bow, McGee: There’s no question that Curry and Thompson were huge in Golden State’s second half comeback, but the play of McGee in Game 3 was just as vital.

McGee, who has been referenced as a “vertical spacer” by the Warriors’ coaching staff, has been just that against the Trail Blazers this series with his penchant for catching the lob pass for hammering dunks.

In 16 minutes on the floor tonight, McGee scored 14 points on 6-of-8 shooting from the floor, to go along with four rebounds. The reserve center was +24 whenever he was on the court.

When you combine his performances from Game 1 (6 points on 3-of-4 FG) and Game 2 (15 points on 7-of-7 shooting) with his line from Game 3 (14 points on 6-of-8 shooting), McGee has scored 35 points on 16-of-19 shooting.

Portland’s backcourt is fun to watch and aren’t the problem: Through the first three games, Lillard and C.J. McCollum have made life difficult for the NBA’s second-ranked defense during the regular season with their ability to score nearly at will. Outside of Game 2, Portland’s electrifying backcourt has torched Golden State:

In Game 1: 75 of Portland’s 109 points on 38-of-54 shooting (7-of-15 3FG).

In Game 2: 23 of Portland’s 80 points on 9-of-34 shooting (1-of-7 3FG).

In Game 3: 63 of Portland’s 119 points on 20-of-46 shooting (10-of-22 3FG).

McCollum led all Trail Blazers with 32 points and Lillard finished with 31 points, seven rebounds, and four assists in Game 3, where Portland was feeding off of its raucous crowd.

Portland did get center Jusuf Nurkic back in the starting lineup for Game 3 after missing the first two games of the series with a non-displaced fracture in his left leg he suffered late in the season that caused him to miss the final seven games.

Nurkic finished with two points and 11 rebounds in 17 minutes of action and was a non-factor.

Al-Farouq Aminu had 14 points and nine rebounds to lead Portland’s bench, while Noah Vonleh added 10 points and seven rebounds.

Allen Crabbe, whose struggled in the series shooting just 33-percent from the floor, scored eight.

Golden State held the edge in points in the paint (46-38) and fastbreak points (22-6).

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s