Game 3 Update – Golden State Warriors rally to edge out Portland Trail Blazers for 2-0 series lead
The Golden State Warriors beat the Portland Trail Blazers 114-111 on Thursday night to take up a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven series match.
It was a far more accomplished and competitive performance from the Trail Blazers than in their 116-94 defeat two days earlier.
The Warriors rallied from a 15-point halftime deficit to turn this game in their favour, and it took a late comeback to secure the win on this occasion, with the Warriors still down by eight points to the Blazers with just 4 1/2 minutes to go.
Stephen Curry scored 37 points for the Warriors and Klay Thompson added 24 points.
Damian Lillard overcame a slow start to add 23 points and 10 assists for Portland and CJ McCollum scored 22 points.
Game 3 in the best-of-seven series is Saturday night at Portland.
Game 2 Update – Two-time defending champions, the Golden State Warriors, made a strong start to the series with a 116-94 rout of the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 1 of the Western Conference finals.
Stephen Curry scored 36 points, including nine 3-pointers and Klay Thompson had 26 points. Draymond Green was a force at both ends, finishing with 12 points, 10 rebounds, five assists, three blocks and two steals.
Back home in Oakland, Damian Lillard scored 19 points for the Blazers, while CJ McCollum had 17 points, but missed five of his six 3s.
Lillard hit a game-winning 3-pointer with 6.3 seconds remaining in overtime back in December in his last regular-season game at Oracle Arena, but the Blazers never looked like repeating that on this occasion.
As things stand it seems that the Warriors are unlikely to have Kevin Durant back from a strained right calf for Game 2.
Game 2 will take place on Thursday night in Golden State.
The Golden State Warriors meet the Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals with the Warriors having the home-court advantage in the best-of-seven series.
Few neutral observers are giving the Blazers much chance of causing an upset against a Warriors team that has won the NBA Championship in three of the last four seasons and eliminated the Blazers in two of their last three postseason appearances. Golden State beat Portland in the 2016 Western Conference Semifinals, 4-1, and in the 2017 First Round, 4-0.
"Don't worry about what goes on at the top of things." - KD to CJ— Yahoo Sports NBA (@YahooSportsNBA) May 12, 2019
*10 months later*
CJ and the Blazers will play the Warriors in the Western Conference Finals. pic.twitter.com/MbnuOqA1Cy
However, there are a few positives for the Blazers to cling onto. To begin with, in nine career playoff games against the Warriors, Damian Lillard has averaged 30.0 points, 4.3 rebounds and 5.7 assists. Also, CJ McCollum has scored at least 20 points in six of his nine playoff games against the Warriors. He scored a playoff career-high 41 points at Golden State in Game 1 of the First Round in 2017.
In addition, Warriors star Kevin Durant will not play in at least Game 1 of the series against the Blazers because of a strained right calf. The reality is that he’s likely to be missing for longer than just one game. Injured center DeMarcus Cousins is also unlikely to reappear during the conference finals as he continues to rehab from a torn left quad.
Golden State Warriors vs Portland Trail Blazers Betting Lines & Pick
In the NBA Western Conference betting odds for the overall series winner, the Golden State Warriors are the hot favourites at -666.67 with Betway Sports while the Portland Trail Blazers are +450 also with Betway.
Unfortunately for the Blazers they are giving up home-court advantage to the Warriors and are coming into the Conference Finals on the back of a seven-game series that went to the wire against the Denver Nuggets.
In terms of our NBA Western Conference predictions, it’s still very difficult to see past the Warriors given their quality and their experience at this level of the championship, so they have to be the tips to prevail. A 4-2 series win looks a reasonable betting prediction.