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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
Blake Griffin May 12 9:10pm ET

Detroit Pistons forward Blake Griffin (knee) says that he has fully recovered from his surgery. In January, Griffin underwent arthroscopic surgery on his left knee, but is ready to play whenever the NBA resumes play. "Im ready to go whenever things pick back up. Im just working out and trying to stay ready and stay sane," says Griffin. It's unclear if the Pistons will clear him to play right away. The team is in rebuild mode and is likely going to shop Griffin this offseason with Christian Wood expected to take over at power forward. Trading Griffin would be great for Wood's fantasy value, but we'll have to wait and see what happens this offseason.

Kelly Oubre Jr. May 12 9:00pm ET

Phoenix Suns forward Kelly Oubre Jr. (knee) could be ready to suit up once the NBA resumes play, according to Duane Rankin. It's been roughly two months since Oubre underwent right knee surgery. He appears to be making great progress and recently posted a video of him working out. The Suns begin voluntary workouts at their practice facility on May 16, so we'll see how Oubre progresses during those. In mid-April, Suns GM James Jones said that Oubre was pretty much ready to go. It sounds like the Suns are going to have Oubre back on the court when the season resumes.

Kevin Durant May 12 9:00pm ET

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (Achilles) is not expected to suit up for the team during the 2019-2020 season. Nets GM Sean Marks has not ruled out the idea of Durant returning, but it sounds unlikely at the moment. Kevin Durants not coming back to the Nets this year, says ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski. The expectation is that Durant will come back for the 2020-2021 season. That would give him roughly 18 months of recovery time. He should be nearly 100 percent ready to play by the time training camp rolls around next season.

Jayson Tatum May 11 7:00pm ET

Boston Celtics forward Jayson Tatum said that he originally didn't want the organization to draft him. Instead, Tatum wanted the Phoenix Suns to take him during the 2017 NBA Draft. He mentioned that it worked out in the end, but he didn't feel like there would be enough shots for him in Boston. Tatum was averaging 27.9 points, 7.3 rebounds, 3.1 assists, 1.5 steals, and 1.0 blocks during his last 23 games before the league went on hiatus. It appears that Tatum is finally reaching his full potential and could be a first round pick in standard drafts next season.

Jerami Grant May 10 6:20pm ET

Denver Nuggets forward Jerami Grant is not expected to pick up his player option for the 2020-2021 season. He has a $9 million option for next season, but is expected to test his worth on the free agent market. Grant has made improvements on the offensive side each of the last two seasons. He's already known for playing reliable defense, so he should be a coveted option in the free agent market. His fantasy value will be dependent on where he ends up, but Grant should have a significant role on whichever organization he picks.

Dylan Windler May 10 6:10pm ET

Cleveland Cavaliers forward Dylan Windler (leg) says that he is around 70 or 80 percent healthy after having surgery in January. Its been a little over three months right now and I think the docs saying maybe a month or a month and a half before Im able to play live basketball again, Windler said. He played well during the Summer League, but he was never able to take the court this season due to his leg injury. Kevin Porter Jr. has been playing well, which means Windler is likely going to be behind him in the rotation. He might work his way into the rotation next season, but it depends on what the Cavs do in the offseason.

Michael Carter-Williams May 9 9:30pm ET

Orlando Magic guard Michael Carter-Williams says that he feels like he is in a good spot with his new organization. He mentioned that he doubted himself after being released by the Houston Rockets. "I didnt know if I was going to be back in the league or not," he said. Carter-Williams has put together some nice moments with the Magic this season. It sounds like he's interested in staying with the team this summer. However, he won't have reliable fantasy value while Markelle Fultz and D.J. Augustin are healthy. Carter-Williams does offer some deep league value, but can be avoided in most formats.

Kevin Huerter May 7 7:50pm ET

Atlanta Hawks guard Kevin Huerter has been hindered by a knee issue basically all season long. He says part of the reason that his knee has been bothering him is a bad diet. He went gluten-free near the start of the 2019-2020 season. "I didnt want to deal with the injury anymore, and I felt like the diet was helping," he said. Huerter has top-100 value, assuming he can actually stay on the court. His shooting percentage and free throw percentage have been on the rise. However, Huerter is going to battle with Cam Reddish for playing time. Having to split up playing time at the shooting guard spot is going to hurt Huerter's value the most.

Giannis Antetokounmpo May 7 7:40pm ET

Milwaukee Bucks forward Giannis Antetokounmpo is an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2021. The Golden State Warriors have reportedly been "preparing for years" to sign Antetokounmpo. There's rumors that Antetokounmpo could leave Milwaukee if he loses faith in the organization's ability to win a championship. It sounds like he is currently on good terms with Milwaukee, but nobody knows how the future will play out. The Warriors are definitely interested in Antetokounmpo, but so should every other organization in the league.

Larry Nance Jr. May 7 7:30pm ET

Cleveland Cavaliers center Larry Nance Jr. says that he plans to work out at the Cavs facilities on Friday. The Portland Trail Blazers, Denver Nuggets, and Cavs are all opening their doors to the facilities on Friday. It's the first step towards getting the NBA season back on track. Nance could potentially have a significant role on the Cavs next season if center Andre Drummond decides to sign elsewhere. Nance's fantasy value has been dependent on the absence of either Drummond or Kevin Love. It appears he's ready to take the next step in his career, but is stuck in a backup role in Cleveland.

Christian Wood May 7 7:30pm ET

Detroit Pistons forward Christian Wood is set to become a free agent after next season. There is a 70 percent chance that the Pistons re-sign Wood, according to James Edwards III. The organization has his Early Bird rights, so they should have a great chance at keeping Wood in Detroit. Wood should continue to have fantasy value in Detroit despite Blake Griffin still being under contract. It sounds like the Pistons are going to find a way to keep both players involved.

Marco Belinelli May 6 10:30pm ET

San Antonio Spurs guard Marco Belinelli wants to re-sign in the NBA this summer, but hasn't ruled out other options. The 34-year-old veteran might consider playing in Europe if the current NBA season is lost. The 13-year veteran is averaging only 13 minutes per game this season with the Spurs. He likely won't have significant fantasy value on another NBA roster. Belinelli had some nice moments in the league, but his days of playing over 25 minutes per game are likely over in the NBA. Heading elsewhere to play might be his best chance to see significant playing time.

Ben Simmons May 6 10:10pm ET

Philadelphia 76ers guard Ben Simmons (back) will be ready to play when the league resumes, according to general manager Elton Brand. Sadly, Simmons has been unable to do more work because of the league being shutdown. He has been given plenty of time to rest and recover, but isn't able to get on the court and actually get in the needed work. Despite being unable to practice, the Sixers feel that Simmons will be ready to play when the league returns.

Donovan Mitchell May 5 8:40pm ET

Utah Jazz guard Donovan Mitchell and center Rudy Gobert are going to work out their differences and move forward, according to Jazz VP Dennis Lindsey. Mitchell was not pleased with how Gobert acted before the NBA went on hiatus. However, both players are going to move forward in the best interest of the team. There were some rumors that Gobert could be on the move, but it sounds like neither player is going anywhere. Hopefully both players can put their differences aside and focus on winning basketball games.

John Wall May 5 8:30pm ET

Washington Wizards point guard John Wall believes that the organization needs to upgrade at the small forward position. "With me and Brad [Beal], who is a great cornerstone, and you have Rui Hachimura who is a rookie that's in there, but I feel like we definitely need a three that's a dog, that can knock down shots and compete and create for us," Wall said. Washington also has Troy Brown who is only 20 years old and has plenty of potential. However, this sounds like Wall asking some organization to make some win-now moves this offseason. Whether or not the team makes those deals remains to be seen, but Wall sounds like he's ready to win.

Carmelo Anthony May 5 8:30pm ET

Portland Trail Blazers forward Carmelo Anthony says that he hit rock bottom before the organization gave him a chance. "I hit rock bottom emotionally, and I had to build myself back upbasically by myselfto get here where I'm at today to be able to tell this story," says Anthony. The 35-year-old is averaging 15.3 points, 6.3 rebounds, 1.5 assists and 1.4 triples with the Blazers this season. However, he could lose some playing time with Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic returning from injury. Regardless, the Melo rebound story was a success and hopefully he'll continue to succeed until he's ready to call it a career.

Kyrie Irving May 4 9:10pm ET

Brooklyn Nets guard Kyrie Irving (shoulder) could be sidelined up to six months, according to Dr. John Kelly IV. He underwent arthroscopic surgery back on March 3, so Irving is expected to return in September. Any stability surgery requires at least four months of rehab with an expectation of six months more realistic," says Kelly. It appears Irving is done for the rest of the 2019-2020 season. It's unclear when or if the NBA is going to return this season. However, it sounds like Irving will be ready to get back on the court for the 2020-2021 campaign.

Luke Kennard May 4 9:00pm ET

Detroit Pistons guard Luke Kennard (knee) would've been back in action on March 14 if the NBA didn't get suspended. He has been out of action since December 21 with patellar tendinitis in both knees. The organization has been trying to figure out a way to prevent this issue from happening again. Kennard has made a name for himself in the league already and is averaging a career-high 4.1 assists this season. He'll be entering the final year of his rookie contract next season, so the Pistons might need to begin extension talks soon.

Joe Harris May 4 8:40pm ET

Brooklyn Nets guard Joe Harris (ankle) says that he has fully recovered from the injury he suffered March 11. So I was going to be out a month, no matter what, and then [the NBA shutdown] went down literally the next day, Harris said. He has been able to use the training facility during the hiatus because of his injury. It's unclear when the NBA is going to return, but it sounds like Harris is ready to play. Harris has been playing well this season and has carved out a significant role for himself in Brooklyn.

Kevin Durant May 3 7:10pm ET

Brooklyn Nets forward Kevin Durant (Achilles) could return before the end of the season, according to GM Sean Marks. It sounds like the organization is leaving it up to Durant to decide when to come back. They believe he knows his body better than anybody else and he'll decide when the timing is right. Durant reportedly looked good before the NBA went on hiatus. It wouldn't be shocking if Durant does take the court during the 2019-2020 season, especially if the playoffs start right away.