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Green, Warriors beat Blazers for 3-0 lead in West finals

Sun May 19 2:19am ET
By ANNE M. PETERSON
AP Sports Writer

Players: Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, Damian Lillard, Seth Curry, Draymond Green, Jonas Jerebko, CJ McCollum, Meyers Leonard, Enes Kanter, Alfonzo McKinnie, Damian Jones, Kevon Looney, Zach Collins

PORTLAND, OREGON - MAY 18: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers in game three of the NBA Western Conference Finals at Moda Center on May 18, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)


PORTLAND, OREGON - MAY 18: Stephen Curry #30 of the Golden State Warriors reacts during the second half against the Portland Trail Blazers in game three of the NBA Western Conference Finals at Moda Center on May 18, 2019 in Portland, Oregon. (Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)


PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) 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.

Green had his seventh career postseason 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 Monday.

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.''

Durant, the two-time NBA Finals MVP who was averaging more than 34 points during the playoffs, remains out with a sore right calf and his return is uncertain.

''When Kevin 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,'' said Green, who has had a triple double in each of the rounds during the playoffs - all on the road.

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 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 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.

No team has ever come back from an 0-3 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 happen, happens.''

On Thursday, the Blazers were up 15 at halftime and led by eight with 4 1/2 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 lineups for Game 3, with Portland's Meyers Leonard making his first start of the playoffs at center. 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.

Portland was boosted by the home crowd at the start, going up 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. Golden State outscored the Blazers 22-6 to close out the third quarter.

TIP-INS

Warriors: Jones was making his first career postseason start. ... The Warriors have used six different starting lineups in the 2019 playoffs. Jerebko was handed a flagrant I for a foul on Zach Collins in the second quarter. ... The Warriors have won at least one road game in 22 straight playoff series, extending their own record.

Trail Blazers: Seattle Seahawks coach Pete Carroll was among the fans at the game. Also there was Sabrina Ionescu, who was on the Oregon team that went to the Final Four this season, and former Blazer Scottie Pippen (1999-2003). Portland has lost nine straight playoff games to Golden State, dating back to 2016.

TIRED?

Lillard, who hasn't had the commanding performances he had earlier in the playoffs, was asked if exhaustion was taking a toll. Later, reports emerged that he may have injured a rib in Game 2, although the Blazers did not immediately comment.

''Everybody's tired,'' he said. ''It's the third round of the playoffs after a long season. Our last series, I got a lot of attention. The team was giving me a lot of attention and the same thing in this series. It takes a lot to deal with that and go out and chase guys around on the defensive end.''

UP NEXT

Game 4 is set for Monday night in Portland.

Player Notes
Eric Gordon Jul 13 8:30pm ET

Houston Rockets guard Eric Gordon (knee) is reportedly looking good in each of his first two practices, according to head coach Mike D'Antoni. "He hasn't missed a rep. Looks good. Shooting the ball extremely well," says D'Antoni. Gordon has been bothered by knee issues throughout this season. Gordon mentioned recently that he feels like his knee issues are finally behind him. He could have some cheap DFS value alongside Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

Zach Collins Jul 13 8:20pm ET

Portland Trail Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic (leg) and forward Zach Collins (shoulder) have been looking good during recent practices, according to head coach Terry Stotts. Nurkic has not played this season after breaking his leg in March of 2019. However, he is not expected to be limited during the restart. Collins suffered a dislocated left shoulder in October and has been sidelined since then. He is expected to immediately slide into the starting power forward spot. Hassan Whiteside should lose some fantasy value and playing time with Nurkic and Collins returning. Both Nurkic and Collins should carry fairly decent DFS value, but Nurkic might only play around 20 minutes.

Justise Winslow Jul 13 8:20pm ET

Memphis Grizzlies guard Justise Winslow has hit the ground running during the NBA restart, according to head coach Taylor Jenkins. Winslow is expected to play both guard and forward for Memphis. His versatility is really going to come out in our style of play, Jenkins said. There is a good chance that Winslow spends a majority of his time at small forward. He should get a bulk of the playing time over Kyle Anderson or Josh Jackson. He'll be an intriguing DFS option because he can do just about everything on a basketball court.

Russell Westbrook Jul 13 8:00pm ET

Houston Rockets guard Russell Westbrook has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19. It sounds like he is feeling fine, but will need to self-quarantine for 14 days. He'll need to posts two negative tests before being allowed to enter the bubble in Orlando. It appears Westbrook should have enough time to join the team and is not in danger of missing out on the NBA restart. His fantasy value should remain strong alongside James Harden.

Kemba Walker Jul 13 8:00pm ET

Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (knee) did not practice on Monday after experiencing soreness in his troublesome left knee. He had a little bit of discomfort after a couple of the individual workouts, said head coach Brad Stevens. The Celtics are going to be extremely cautious with Walker down the stretch. Stevens has already mentioned that Walker is going to be under a minutes restriction during the beginning of the restart. Walker is expected to be ready to go for next practice. Fantasy owners should know that his value is going to take a hit with less playing time. The team wants Walker as healthy as possible for the postseason.

Shake Milton Jul 13 7:50pm ET

Philadelphia 76ers guard Shake Milton has recently been scrimmaging as the starting point guard in practices. "I think he has a huge opportunity to help us accomplish what we believe we can. He's been doing an amazing job running the team," said Joel Embiid. Milton was averaging 17.9 points, 4.4 assists, 3.0 triples, 1.3 steals during the last eight games before the season was suspended. However, those numbers did come when Ben Simmons was unavailable due to injury. Simmons is spending more time at power forward now, so Milton should have fairly reliable fantasy value during the restart.

Ben Simmons Jul 13 7:40pm ET

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons has been operating as the power forward during recent practices. Head coach Brett Brown mentioned that Simmons is working exclusively at power forward now. He is seriously considering moving Shake Milton to the point guard spot during the restart. Simmons would spend more time off-the-ball with his new position, but Brown says Simmons is adjusting well. This position new could result in less assists for Simmons, but could be the best way to utilize Milton's talent.

Al Horford Jul 13 7:40pm ET

Philadelphia 76ers center Al Horford might be coming off the bench with the second unit during the restart, according to head coach Brett Brown. Shake Milton has been running point guard, while Ben Simmons is operating next to Joel Embiid in the post during recent practices. Horford was playing off the bench during February, but was re-inserted into the starting five after Simmons got hurt. Horford's fantasy value has taken a regression when he comes off the bench. He won't be as valuable of a DFS option if that is the route the Sixers decide to go.

Glenn Robinson III Jul 13 7:10pm ET

Philadelphia 76ers forward Glenn Robinson (back) was a full participant during Monday's practice, but received treatment afterwards. He was dealing with a sore upper back, but it's not uncommon for a player to experience soreness while working back into game shape. It doesn't sound like anything that is going to sideline Robinson at all. He's averaging 7.4 points through 18.9 minutes with the Sixers in 12 games this season. Those stats can be taken with a grain of salt because the team was banged up too. He'll probably see a reduced role in the playoffs, so there won't be much DFS value coming from Robinson.

Jonathan Isaac Jul 13 7:00pm ET

Orlando Magic forward Jonathan Isaac (knee) is going to be out at least two or three more weeks. The team needs a few more weeks to determine if Isaac is ready to return during the restart, according to head coach Steve Clifford. "In terms of will [Isaac] be ready, I dont think well know that for 2-to-3 weeks," said Clifford. Isaac believes he'll get back on the court this season, but players always seem optimistic about their injuries. He'll likely be limited if he does return during the playoffs. Terrence Ross and Aaron Gordon should benefit the most until Isaac is back on the court.

Rajon Rondo Jul 13 7:00pm ET

Los Angeles Lakers guard Rajon Rondo (thumb) was forced to leave Sunday's practice early after suffering an injury. He will undergo thumb surgery and could return at some point during the playoffs. Rondo is likely going to miss around six-to-eight weeks of action. Alex Caruso, Dion Waiters, and J.R. Smith will be asked to step up in the absence of Rondo. The Lakers are confident that Rondo will be able to contribute again this season. It'll be a significant blow to the Lakers if he's unable to play during the postseason. Caruso might end up benefiting the most, but it depends on what Frank Vogel does with his rotations.

Robert Williams Jul 12 6:10pm ET

Boston Celtics center Robert Williams (hip, back) is a fully healthy and ready to play during the Orlando restart, according to head coach Brad Stevens. Williams has only played in 23 games this season due to a left hip bone edema and a back issue. The shutdown was key for Williams to get back to being 100 percent healthy. However, Daniel Theis has locked down the starting center role in Boston. Williams and Enes Kanter will battle it out for backup minutes off the bench. There isn't much DFS value for Williams or Kanter during the restart.

Kemba Walker Jul 12 6:00pm ET

Boston Celtics guard Kemba Walker (knee) is likely going to be somewhat restricted at the beginning of the restart, according to head coach Brad Stevens. Walker has been battling knee issues throughout the season, so it's not surprising that the team would bring him along slowly. The hope is that Walker won't be limited at all by the time the postseason begins. His fantasy value is going to obviously be hurt by the restrictions, but hopefully he'll be 100 percent healthy and ready to go for the playoffs.

Kelly Oubre Jr. Jul 12 6:00pm ET

Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (knee) has been doing a little bit of on-court work, according to head coach Monty Williams. "[Oubre's] in good shape, but he's not in the type of game shape that he wants to be in," Williams said. The organization has not officially ruled out Oubre for the restart, but he'll likely be limited if he does play at all. Williams has already mentioned that his starters are going to see less playing time during the restart. Mikal Bridges, Cameron Johnson, and possibly Dario Saric will see boosted fantasy value if Oubre sits out. Bridges is the best DFS option out of the trio without Oubre available.

Lou Williams Jul 12 5:50pm ET

Los Angeles Clippers guard Lou Williams was reportedly split 50/50 on whether or not to play during the upcoming NBA restart. He decided to let his decision on the restart come down to a team vote. We decided our decision was going to be everybody or nobody, Williams said. The Clippers are excited to have him for the restart since he's their third-highest scorer on the team. He was averaging 18.7 points, 5.7 assists and 1.8 triples before the hiatus. He'll carry fairly decent DFS value into the restart. The Clippers will continue to count on Williams to score off the bench.

Tyler Herro Jul 12 5:50pm ET

Miami Heat guard Tyler Herro (ankle) is reportedly looking 100 percent healthy, according to head coach Erik Spoelstra. He mentioned in early July that he was good to go and the first few practices have confirmed that notion. Herro is back and ready to play, but his fantasy value is going to be shaky. The Heat are crowded at the guard position, so Herro is going to battle for minutes. He'll get his chances on the court, but he probably won't be a reliable DFS option while the Heat are healthy.

Andre Roberson Jul 10 8:30pm ET

Oklahoma City Thunder guard Andre Roberson (knee) was able to go through practice on Friday, according to head coach Billy Donovan. "He participated in everything," Donovan said. Roberson has been banged up for quite some time, so it's nice to see him back on the court. It was reported that Roberson was ready to play around mid-June after not playing since the 2017-2018 season. It's unclear where he'll fit into the rotation, but the Thunder might be careful with him right away. Roberson brings elite defense to the table, but his fantasy value could be limited since he might only see minutes in the teens.

Jamal Crawford Jul 10 8:20pm ET

Free-agent guard Jamal Crawford has agreed to a deal with the Brooklyn Nets. The 40-year-old guard brings valuable depth to the organization after seven players decided to opt out of the restart. Crawford dropped a 51-point game with the Phoenix Suns during the 2018-2019 season. He clearly still has the ability to shoot the ball, which is great for Brooklyn since the team is thin at guard. Crawford should get plenty of playing time with the second unit. He should carry decent DFS value since the Nets are desperate for someone to shoot outside of Caris Levert.

Thomas Bryant Jul 10 7:40pm ET

Washington Wizards center Thomas Bryant has reportedly tested positive for COVID-19 and did not travel with the team to Orlando. This is unfortunate news since Bryant mentioned recently he was fully healthy after dealing with a foot issue. There is a decent chance he opts out, but Bryant has not decided yet. Davis Bertans has already decided to sit out due to injury concerns. Moritz Wagner and Anzejs Pasecniks would be asked to play significant minutes if Bryant decides to opt out. Wagner would have the slight edge in terms of fantasy value, but both of them should make an impact.

Rodions Kurucs Jul 10 7:40pm ET

Brooklyn Nets forward Rodions Kurucs was reportedly starting at power forward during practice on Friday. The team is already down seven players for the upcoming NBA restart. Taurean Prince recently opted out which opened up more playing time for Kurucs going forward. The organization went through it's first 5-on-5 practice on Friday with Kurucs starting. It's unclear who else the team plans to bring in, but Kurucs is expected to have a significant role. He could have sneaky DFS value because of how much playing time he'll receive with the Nets shorthanded.