Draymond Green and Stephen Curry have hammered Portland.
Draymond Green and Stephen Curry have hammered Portland.

‘Wrecking ball’ destroys Portland

DRAYMOND Green had 20 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists, and the Golden State Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 110-99 for a 3-0 lead in the Western Conference finals.

Green had his seventh career post-season triple-double and Stephen Curry scored 36 points for Golden State, which moved a win away from a fifth straight trip to the NBA finals with Game 4 set for Tuesday (AEST).

Warriors coach Steve Kerr said it was one of the best games he's seen Green play.

"I don't even know what to say about Draymond," Kerr said.

"He was a wrecking ball, destroying everything in his path."

CJ McCollum had 23 points for the Trail Blazers, who led by 18 points in the second quarter. Damian Lillard added 19 points, but Portland was hurt at the line, making just 20 of 33 attempts.

Lillard said Portland only had themselves to blame for letting Green get on a role and that had they have shut him down in the first half their second half problems may not have happened.

"I think you have got to recognise it, we just kept being surprised by it (Green's play), and the game was going in our favour in the first half, so you don't see it as much of a problem as it is," Lillard said.

"I think because he was able to keep getting out quick, pushing it at us drawing fouls, getting to the rim that just got him in a good rhythm and got his confidence up really high, and when they got back into the game it really hurt us."

Steph Curry celebrates.
Steph Curry celebrates.

Golden State's Andre Iguodala left in the third quarter with a sore 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 three-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. No team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to win in the playoffs and only three series have gone to a seventh game after one team opened with a 3-0 lead.

Andrew Bogut got only limited game time. Picture: Getty
Andrew Bogut got only limited game time. Picture: Getty

"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 four minutes left before the Warriors rallied - boosted by Kevon Looney's dunk with less than a minute left, and a game-sealing steal from Iguodala - for a 114-111 Game 2 victory.

Both teams switched up their line-ups for Game 3, with Portland's Meyers Leonard making his first start of the playoffs at centre.

Enes Kanter, despite sustaining a separated shoulder in the first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, started in all the previous games. Leonard provided a spark and finished with a career playoff-high 16 points.

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 torn pectoral muscle, collected three fouls in the game's opening three minutes and headed to the bench.

The Warriors remained without Kevin Durant, and it's unlikely he'll return during the conference finals.

The two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP is still out with a right calf injury and isn't set to be re-examined until next week.

Durant, who didn't travel with the team to Portland, averaged 34.2 points in the playoffs before he was injured in the third quarter of Golden State's Game 5 victory over Houston.


News Corp Australia

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