Steph Curry once again tore apart Portland’s defense. With 36 buckets the two-time MVP led his Warriors to another victory over the Portland Trail Blazers. The champs are now just one win away from their fifth consecutive finals. Despite trailing for most of the contest, Golden State took Game 3, beating the Blazers 110-99, after a fantastic third period.
Steve Kerr’s crew was amazing in that sequence, as they outscored the hosts 29-13, erasing the deficit which was +18 at one point. Once again we saw Blazers unable to defend from the Warriors’ surge. They were looking stiffed and frightened during that third quarter, without any signs of resistance.
On the other side, the champs are very experienced in situations like that, with Steph and Klay dropping 17 of those 29 buckets, taking over the game.
“There’s so many people that was talking ‘Oh, he can’t do this, he can’t do that, he isn’t great,’ like he ain’t the only unanimous MVP,” said Green. “Let’s be real about this.”
But Green himself was superb tonight. The strong forward of the Dub Nation posted his No.7 triple-double in the playoffs. In 38 minutes of play, Draymond scored 20 points, had 13 boards and 12 dimes, adding 4 steals on all that too. In general, he exploited every chance the Blazers gave him when trying to double-team Steph or Klay.
Steve Kerr was thrilled with the way Green played, and he stressed that at the press conference.
“I don’t even know what to say about Draymond,” Kerr said. “He was a wrecking ball, destroying everything in his path.”
Green explained that he knows that at certain matches, the opponents will try to concentrate more on the Splash Brothers, which leaves more space for him or other guys. That was the situation tonight.
“We got guys like Steph, Klay who draw a lot of attention, so it’s on me to do my job and come through for those guys,” Green stated.
On the other side, the Blazers’ leading duo was also heavily guarded. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum experienced a bad shooting night, hitting just 12 of their 38 shots from the field. Dame had 19 buckets and McCollum 23.
Lillard was under constant pressure, and he couldn’t find his rhythm. The Warriors were very physical on him, and continually changing guards, which was their strategy here. They couldn’t allow him to become hot, especially in Game 3, which is a crucial one in the series.
Green was talking about that at the press conference.
“If you could just wear him down over the course of 48 minutes, that makes those shots as the game goes on a little more tougher. And that’s been our plan.”
According to some of the sources, Lillard has an injury problem. Allegedly his ribs are sore, and he isn’t 100% ready. But then again, the Blazers had a huge lead in the first two periods and had everything in their hands.
They opened the match well, quickly reaching a 10 point lead, 15-5, before exploding in the second. When Seth Curry drilled a three with 2:28 until the halftime, Blazers were up 18 points, 60-42.
But then came that third period in which the hosts just disappeared off the court of Moda Center.
“Our offense fell apart,” said Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts, who was very disappointed. “We missed some shots. Took some tough shots. Didn’t move the ball as well. They were scoring, so we were taking it out of the net. Didn’t get any transition.”
It appears that the Blazers don’t have enough mental toughness to endure Warriors pressure in the decisive moments, especially on the offensive side of the court. Their backcourt duo isn’t up to the challenge of battling with the champions when the game is on the line.
Right now, the only goal for them is to avoid the sweep at home this Monday.
“We’re going to give it our best effort on Monday,” said Stotts. “That’s all that matters, is we give it our best effort.
Game 4 starts at 6 p.m.
Nikola Velickovic is a sports journalist who loves to write and read on all sports. Nikola contributes both news updates and functions as a sports breaking news writer at WagerBop.