Golden State Warriors

Blazers Trim Series Lead behind Lillard’s 40

Damian Lillard kept hitting shot after shot, stepback three after stepback three, until he reached 40 points on the night and buried the Warriors in a 120-108 win on Saturday night at the Moda Center.

The question now becomes crystal clear: Does Steve Kerr try to play Stephen Curry on Monday night for Game 4? It is a tough question to contemplate because Curry is the Warriors’ best player and they are competing for another championship, and they would not be able to compete for that title opportunity without him.

At the same time, fans and coaches alike want him to be 100% healthy when he comes back on the court and gives him that much needed time off to recover from the MCL sprain. Warriors fans do not want to give the Blazers hope they can win the series, and they would want Steve Kerr to play him to hopefully give them that 3-1 series lead. Fans have the trust in Steve Kerr, the coaching staff, and the medical staff for the Warriors if the MVP will play on Monday night.

Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 40 points on 14-of-27 shooting, including 8-of-13 shooting. His backcourt mate, C.J. McCollum struggled with his shot in the first half but ended the game with a solid 22 point-five rebound-four assist night. Al-Farouq Aminu shot a blistering 8-of-9 from the field and 4-of-5 from beyond the arc, including this three-pointer in which he looked at Stephen Curry on the Warriors bench after he made it:

Warriors fans are not going to appreciate that staredown Aminu gave the MVP.

Klay Thompson and Draymond Green combined for 72 points while the rest of the Warriors players had 36 points. Thompson had 35 points on 14-of-28 shooting with five three-pointers, and Draymond Green posted a career-high 37 points on 13-of-23 shooting, including 8-of-12 from beyond the arc. His defense was not its usual grinding, make it uncomfortable defense. He said in the postgame press conference that “I will be better. We will win.” Leandro Barbosa was the third leading scorer with 10 points off the bench.

If the Warriors are to bounce back from this Game 3 loss, they need to play better defense which means help defense and rotating over on offensive players and contesting shots without fouling. Also, the Warriors need more scoring from other guys because Klay and Draymond going for 35+ is not going to get the job done. It starts on the defensive end containing Lillard and McCollum and making other players such as Allen Crabbe, and Gerald Henderson beat you.

Two questions remain:

When will Stephen Curry see game action?

Is this the first time we have seen vulnerability from the Warriors without the MVP?

These are important questions, and hopefully, they will be answered sooner than later.

 

Next Game:

Game 4

Monday, May 9, 2016

Golden State Warriors (2-1) @ Portland Trail Blazers (1-2)

Moda Center

 

Derek Tahara

Golden State Warriors Writer

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