Game 4 Preview: Warriors at Trail Blazers – 4/24/17

CLOSEOUT OPPORTUNITY
With a commanding 3-0 series lead, the Warriors will look to complete the sweep of the Trail Blazers in Game 4 on Monday night. With a win, Golden State would advance to the Western Conference Semifinals, whereas a Portland victory would force a Game 5 back in Oakland on Wednesday. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. Watch the action on NBC Sports Bay Area and TNT, or listen to the call on 95.7 The Game on the Warriors Radio Network.

LAST TIME OUT
The Warriors overcame a 17-point deficit and picked up a 119-113 win in Portland on Saturday night. Full Recap

MATCHUP AT A GLANCE
Playoff Ranks

GSW
3-0
1st in West
116.7 PPG (1st)
47.0 RPG (2nd)
27.3 APG (2nd)

POR

0-3
8th in West
101.0 PPG (T-11th)
45.7 RPG (4th)
16.3 APG (15th)

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PROJECTED STARTERS

GSW: Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, Patrick McCaw, Draymond Green and Zaza Pachulia

POR: Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Evan Turner, Maurice Harkless and Noah Vonleh

INJURY & ROSTER NOTES

GSW: TBD. Team Notes

POR: TBD. Team Notes

MCDIFFERENCE-MAKERS
Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson were fantastic down the stretch of the Warriors’ big comeback victory in Game 3, but they wouldn’t have been in a chance to do so without the excellent play of both Patrick McCaw and JaVale McGee. McCaw, who won’t turn 22 until October, was arguably the best player on the floor in the opening quarter, and secured the crucial offensive rebound in the final minute of the game that Curry turned into a dagger three-pointer. McGee continued his impressive play in the series with another 14 points on only eight shot attempts, and was a game-best plus-24. The Trail Blazers are now 4-of-14 at the rim against McGee in this series (.286), the best defensive field goal percentage at the rim of anyone in the playoffs facing at least three attempts per game. Both McCaw and McGee have played crucial roles in keeping the Warriors afloat while without key contributors like Kevin Durant, Shaun Livingston and Matt Barnes for each of the last two games, and when those players do return to the fold, Golden State will be that much tougher to beat.

TEAM PLAYOFF LEADERS

GSW
PTS: Durant (32.0)
REB: Durant (11.0)
AST: Green (8.7)

POR

PTS: McCollum (28.0)
REB: Nurkic (11.0)
AST: Turner (4.7)

DEFENSE LEADS THE WAY
Saturday’s Game 3 was a tale of two halves, and Golden State’s resurgence in the second of them coincided directly with ramped up play on the defensive end. Portland shot 53.3 percent from the floor and 61.5 percent from three-point land for 67 points in the first half, but the Warriors limited the Trail Blazers to just 46 points on 33.3 percent shooting from the field and 26.3 percent from three-point land in the final two quarters. Golden State held Portland without a field goal for a stretch of 5:08 late in the third frame during which the Warriors mounted a 19-1 run that gave them the lead, and then another 3:50 stretch in the fourth quarter that permitted Golden State to remain in front for good. That’s essentially 37.5 percent of the second half that the Trail Blazers were held without a basket, which proved absolutely essential as the Warriors had to come all the way back from 16 points down. With Portland now facing elimination, it will likely take another staunch defensive effort on behalf of Golden State to come away with the series sweep on Monday night.

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