Game 4 Preview: Warriors at Trail Blazers
The Warriors remain in Portland as they look to carry the energy of their 3-0 series lead into Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals on Monday.
REPEAT IN RIP CITY
Thanks to a pair of big third quarter comebacks, the Warriors own a 3-0 series lead and are just one win away from advancing to the NBA Finals for the fifth straight season. The Dubs will look to get that series-ending win on Monday night in Portland. The Warriors have had great success on the road this postseason, going 5-2 so far, and Saturday’s victory made it 22 consecutive postseason series - dating back to 2013 - in which the Dubs have won at least one road game. A win on Monday would not only clinch the Western Conference Finals for the Dubs, but it would also give the team extra time to rest and recover from the various ailments facing the squad before the NBA Finals begin.
LAST TIME OUT
Draymond Green had a triple-double and Stephen Curry had 36 points as the Warriors overcame an 18-point deficit to beat the Trail Blazers 110-99 on Saturday night in Portland. » Full Game Recap
MATCHUP AT A GLANCE
|PTS: 118.1 (1st)||PTS: 111.5 (4th)|
|REB: 43.5 (8th)||REB: 46.2 (6th)|
|AST: 28.5 (1st)||AST: 18.5 (15th)|
LAST GAME'S STARTERS
GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Andre Iguodala, Draymond Green and Damian Jones
POR: Damian Lillard, CJ McCollum, Maurice Harkless, Al-Farouq Aminu and Meyers Leonard
MAN ON A MISSION
Ever since Steve Kerr took over as Head Coach for the Warriors, he has credited Draymond Green for being the heartbeat of the team. And these last two games have personified Green’s strengths on the court perhaps more than any other two-game stretch in his pro career. His numbers alone have been impressive, stuffing the stat sheet as do-it-all Draymond often does, but what the box score doesn’t show is how he has changed the momentum of the game. In the second quarter of both Games 2 and 3, the Dubs fell behind by 17 and 18 points, respectively. In each instance, Green made an extra effort to push the pace whenever possible. By doing so, the Warriors are able to get better looks on offense as Portland’s defense scrambles back to get in position. On Saturday, that led to 2019 playoff-highs of 20 points, 12 assists and four steals, not to mention 13 rebounds, his eighth straight game with at least 10 rebounds. It was Green’s third triple-double of this postseason – all of which have occurred on the road – and the seventh of his playoff career. Look for Green to keep his foot on the gas on Monday, as that’s when the Warriors are at their best.
TEAM PLAYOFF LEADERS
|PTS: Durant (34.2)||PTS: Lillard (29.6)|
|REB: Green (9.2)||REB: Kanter (10.0)|
|AST: Green (8.1)||AST: Lillard (5.9)|
TRAIL BLAZERS SCOUTING REPORT
The Trail Blazers are in a desperate situation, down three games to zero, and if they have any tricks left up their sleeve, they have no choice but to bust those out. Portland made one such adjustment in Game 3, starting Meyers Leonard at center in place of Enes Kanter. That adjustment favored the Trail Blazers early on, as Leonard had 13 points in the first half and made a couple of 3-pointers, but he had just three points after the break when the Dubs began to take over. Leonard’s athleticism gave the Blazers some flexibility in defending the pick-and-roll, but he did pick up three fouls in 17 first half minutes. And Leonard, nor any of his Portland teammates, had an answer for the Dubs’ second half onslaught. With both star guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum shooting below 40 percent for the series, the Blazers need at least one of them to get rolling or perhaps one of the less usual suspects to spark the team. Rodney Hood has had his moments this postseason – he had 25 points in a Game 6 home win over Denver last series – and Seth Curry has made some big shots in this series as well. Closing out a series is rarely easy, so the Dubs will need o be ready for whatever the Trail Blazers throw at them.
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