Warriors vs Trail Blazers Live: Golden State is one win away from a Western Conference finals sweep and its fifth consecutive appearance in the NBA Finals. A victory over Portland would be the Warriors’ second sweep of the Conference finals in the past three seasons.
Facing a desperate Trail Blazers team looking to extend its season and with a shorthanded roster thanks to a Kevin Durant calf injury and Andre Iguodala’s Achilles pain, the win will be far from easy. But Golden State hasn’t lost a game this postseason without Durant and has won 30 of the last 31 games that Steph Curry has played without Durant.
Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green have been their vintage selves this series. In the Game 3 win, Curry had a game-high 36 points with Green providing a triple-double and Thompson dropping in 19 points.
The Golden State Warriors injury list keeps growing, and with it comes a sense of urgency. Andre Iguodala left game three with a unidentified lower leg issue. Though the MRI came back clean on Sunday, the do-everything wing is almost certainly going to be sitting out game four. That puts Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins and Iguodala all on the bench and puts the onus on the remaining Warriors to bring a quick and merciful end to this series. Win tonight, and the team would get over a week off to recuperate and regroup ahead of the NBA Finals.
With a loss tonight, the Blazers could be swept out of the playoffs for the second consecutive year, albeit a bit deeper in than their unceremonious first round departure last season. But the familiar taste of the broom would be a sad end to what has been an auspicious season for Portland.
If Portland wants to extend the series and send it back to Oakland, the Trail Blazers will need more from their star, Damian Lillard. Lillard is playing with a separated rib that he suffered in a Game 2 collision with Kevon Looney. Lillard has been outscored 109-61 by Steph Curry over the course of the series and has hit just one 3 in third quarters. CJ McCollum led Portland with 23 points in its Game 3 loss.
Closeout games are nothing new to the Trail Blazers. Portland twice staved off elimination in the Western Conference semis against Denver. Golden State is 5-3 in closeout games when up 3-0 during the Steve Kerr era. A Warriors win would give them nine days off before the NBA Finals begin on May 30, welcome news for a team with a plethora of injuries.
This is reflective of a team wide issue, the Warriors are significantly more efficient at scoring the ball than the Blazers have been. Faced with relentless double teams and intense pressure on their primary ball handlers, the Blazers lack of a pressure relief valve like Draymond Green has been staggeringly apparent.