The Golden State Warriors were down three at one point in this series. Head coach Steve Kerr missed game three due to illness and the Warriors again, without Kevin Durant and Shaun Livingston.
The Warriors started the third quarter down 16, by the start of the fourth they were down one point. The defense of the Warriors picked up in the second half as doubling Damien Lillard and C.J. McCollum out of pick-n-rolls became more obvious. The Warriors forced the ball out of Lillard or McCollum’s hand and dared the players to make plays for Portland.
The Warriors defensive efforts showed on paper with game rights of 11 steals, 11 blocks and, forcing Portland to turn the ball over 16 times opposed to the seven the Warriors committed. The Warriors still maintained their offensive abilities on game four as they showed ball movement (25 assists).
The Warriors bench beat Portlands bench 41-30 leading the way Iguodala with 16 points, 7 rebounds, 3 assist. Iguodala had some big defensive plays late to get the Warriors easy basket in transition. Big credit to the Warriors coaching staff having trust in their bench late.
Being down 2-0 to the best team in the league this was a must win for Portland. They played like it in this first half with a strong start of scoring 30 points in the first quarter. Portland got a key contributor back with center Jusuf Nurkic. Nurkic only played 17 minutes finishing the game with two points, 11 rebounds, and four assists.
Lillard and McCollum both came out shooting the ball really well in the first half. McCullom finished with 32 points, six rebounds while going 6-for-9 from three. Lillard contributed 31 points and seven rebounds. Both had it going early but slowed down late because of Warriors defense forced the two guards into difficult shot attempts.
Lillard and McCollum went away from what was working which was moving the ball letting the game come to them. Other guys like Evan Turner (17 points and eight rebounds) Noah Vonleh (10 points and seven rebounds) Al-Farouq Aminu ( 14 points an nine rebounds) all played well.
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson combined for 58 points. Curry went 10-for-25 from the field(34 points, eight assist) and Klay Thompson did most of his work late in the third quarter finishing with 24 points on 8-for-21 shooting from the field.
The status of Kevin Durant and Steve Kerr will remain questionable going into game four.
The Warriors will attempt to sweep the series on Monday night. Game four is scheduled for a 10:30 EST tip-off on TNT.
Baseline Times Staff Writer