PORTLAND, Ore. – With Kevin Durant out, Draymond Green has taken it upon himself to boost Golden State
And boy, has he
Green had 20 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, and the Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-99 on Saturday night for a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference Finals.
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Warriors coach Steve Kerr said it was one of the best games he’s seen Green play.
“Draymond,” Kerr said, “Draymond Green (23) shoots against Portland Trail Blazers forward.” “He was a wrecking ball, destroying everything in his path.” Meyers Leonard, left, during the first half of Game 3 of the NBA basketball playoffs West a conference finals, on Saturday in Portland, Ore. (Associated Press) “/>
Golden State Warriors forward Draymond Green (23) shoots against Portland Trail Blazers forward Meyers Leonard, left, during the first half of Game 3 of the NBA basketball playoffs Western Conference Finals, on Saturday in Portland, Ore. (Associated Press)
Durant, the two-time NBA finals MVP who were over 34 points during the playoffs, remains out with a right and return is uncertain.
“When Kevin is not on the floor, I know I have to be more aggressive. So whether it’s down the basket, putting more pressure on the defense, I understand, “Green said.
” When Kevin [Durant] is not on the floor, I know I have to be more aggressive. So whether that’s attacking the basket, putting more pressure on the defense, I understand that. “
1; Draymond Green, Golden State Warriors
CJ McCollum had 23 points for the Trail Blazers, who led by 18 during the second quarter. Damian Lillard added 19 points, but Portland was hurt at the line, making just 20 of 33 attempts.
Golden State’s Andre Iguodala left in the third quarter with a lower leg. Kerr said he will have an MRI on Sunday. Iguodala played 17 minutes and had nine points.
After trailing 66-53 at the half, the Warriors mounted a third-quarter comeback to lead 82-79 going into the fourth. Jonas Jerebko’s jumper pushed the lead to 90-82 with 7:26 left
Curry’s 3-pointer made it 98-87 with just under five minutes to go, and Portland struggled to catch up – similar to their fourth-quarter fade in game 2.
Game 3 was the first conference finals game in Portland since 2000. The Blazers lost that series to the eventual champion Los Angeles Lakers in seven games. deficit to win in the playoffs. Only three series have gone to a seventh game after one team opened with a 3-0 lead.
“We’re going to give it our best effort on Monday. That’s all that matters,” Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. We’re going to give it our best effort and whatever happens, happens. “On Thursday, the blazers were up 15 at half time and led by eight with 4½ minutes left before the Warriors rallied – boosted by Kevon Looney’s dunk with less Over a minute left and a game-sealing steal from Iguodala – for a 114-111 game 2 victory.
Both teams switched up their lineups for Game 3, with Portland’s Meyers Leonard making his first start of the playoffs at center. Enes Kanter, despite sustaining a separate shoulder in the first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, started in all the previous games. Leonard provided a kick and finished with a career playoff high 16 points
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Kerr started Damian Jones, who hadn’t started since December and had made just two previous appearances in the playoffs. Jones, who played in just 24 games in the regular season because of a pectoral muscle, collected three fouls in the game’s opening three minutes and headed to the bench.
by 10 points in the first quarter. Seth Curry’s jumper made it 60-42 with 2:28 left until halftime.
The Warriors roared back, closing within 76-75 on Alfonzo McKinnie’s basket and pulling ahead on Looney’s layup to cap a 10-0 run.