After trailing by as many as 16 points in the second half, the Warriors came all the way back to earn a 119-113 road victory over the Trail Blazers in Game 3 on Saturday night. Stephen Curry led all scorers with 34 points, including 14 in the decisive fourth quarter. Klay Thompson scored 17 of his 24 points in the second half, while Draymond Green stuffed the stat sheet with nine points, eight rebounds, seven assists and six blocks. With the win, Golden State takes a 3-0 series lead.
Portland desperately needed a victory to get back in the series, and they shot out of the gate with that in mind. But by the time everything was said and done, Golden State had dealt the Blazers a demoralizing defeat, despite being without Kevin Durant, Shaun Livingston and Matt Barnes for the second-straight game. The Warriors were shorthanded on the bench as well, as Steve Kerr missed the game due to illness.
The Trail Blazers got off to a great start, following the lead of their star-studded backcourt. C.J. McCollum knocked down his first three shots, and after Draymond Green knocked down a three-pointer to give the Warriors a one-point lead just over a minute into the game, Portland reeled off nine consecutive points to jump in front 11-3. The Trail Blazers would go on to lead for the rest of the first half, and would build double-digit advantages on multiple occasions within it. Damian Lillard’s three-pointer at the 5:05 mark of the first quarter put Portland up 20-10, and he’d add 10 more points to his total through the remainder of the frame. The Trail Blazers held a 17-6 rebounding advantage in the first quarter, which came to a close with Portland leading 37-30. Patrick McCaw provided a few bright spots for Golden State, accounting for six points, three assists, two steals and a block in the opening quarter.
McCollum opened the second quarter scoring with two free throws, and Allen Crabbe’s four-point play at the 9:17 mark put the Warriors in a 49-33 hole. After the two sides traded scores, Klay Thompson knocked down a jumper to ignite an 8-0 Golden State run capped by a Stephen Curry three-pointer that would pull the Dubs within 51-43, but that’s as close as they’d get in the first half. Soon after, Portland responded with a 9-0 burst to take their largest lead of the entire night at 65-48 with 2:23 remaining in the half. The Warriors would answer with five-straight points before Lillard’s floater with 24 seconds left sent the Blazers into halftime holding a 67-54 lead.
Portland’s backcourt duo of Lillard and McCollum outscored Curry and Thompson by a combined total of 39-22 in the first half, but the Splash Brothers would begin to flip that script in the second.
Thompson opened the second half with a three-pointer, a harbinger of things to come. Evan Turner answered right back with a three-pointer of his own, and Portland would rebuild their advantage to 16 points on three separate occasions in the next six minutes. But after Lillard scored to put the Blazers up 82-66 midway through the third frame, their lead began to crumble. Curry and JaVale McGee responded with consecutive scores, after which Klay Thompson bookended two free throws with two more three-pointers to cut the deficit to 82-78 with 3:29 remaining in the quarter. After Turner split free throws, Thompson would sink yet another trey, after which Andre Iguodala and McGee got back-to-back dunks to give Golden State an 85-83 lead with 2:00 left in the frame. In total, that amounted to a 19-1 run that would give the Warriors their first advantage since 3-2. Portland retook an 88-87 lead at the end of the third quarter, but the damage had been done. Golden State was back in the game, and they’d maintain that momentum into the fourth and final quarter.
Turner opened the fourth quarter scoring with a jumper, but that’s as large of a lead as the Trail Blazers would hold for the remainder of the game. The Warriors answered with a 6-0 burst, and after McCollum converted his final three-pointer of the night to give Portland a 95-94 lead with 9:25 remaining, Golden State would hold the Trail Blazers without a field goal for the next 3:50. Turner provided the only Portland point over that span after splitting free throws at the 8:00 mark, after which Curry began to take over the game. His three-pointer 59 seconds later put the Warriors in front for good, and he’d go on to either score or assist on 19 of Golden State’s final 21 points in the contest.
The Trail Blazers cut the deficit to four points on four separate occasions in the final 90 seconds, but each and every time, Curry was there to halt their momentum with another score. His two free throws with nine seconds remaining closed out the scoring in the game and secured Golden State’s 119-113 victory.
With the win, the Warriors take a 3-0 series lead and have now earned a road victory in each of their last 12 playoff series. Golden State’s 17-point comeback was the team’s second largest this season, and their 13-point deficit at half was the second-largest halftime deficit overcome in a playoff game in franchise history. The Warriors will now attempt to complete the series sweep when they play Portland in Game 4 on Monday night.