The Blazers came ready to play and gave a valiant effort in a close game but the Warriors rallied around their recovered MVP and supporting all stars to pull out an overtime win in Portland. The loss gives the Warriors a 3-1 advantage in the second round 2016 NBA Playoff series.
The Blazers were led by their backcourt. Lillard struggled from the field (9-30) but finished with 36 points and 9 assists while CJ McCollum added 24 points. Al-Farouq Aminu had his second consecutive stellar game and finished with 18 points and 13 rebounds. In his first game back, Stephen Curry scored 38 including 15 in overtime . Draymond Green finished another big game with 21 points, 8 rebounds and 7 blocks.
Lillard started the game how he ended game 3: on fire. He converted a four point play off a foul on Thompson and then a looong three the next time down the court to give the Blazers a quick 12-2 lead. The Blazers were rolling and the Warriors couldn't find the basket with a GPS early. This caused the game to be played at the pace of a summer pickup game but with the intensity and energy of a high stakes playoff game. Shots were flying and offensive rebounds were given away like The early Blazer party continued until Curry entered the game at the midway point.
Curry's appearance immediately gave the Warriors a spacing boost and Green hit a quick 3. But Curry only finished a pair of shots in the first and the Warrior's epic offense never flowed early. However, their defense improved and the Blazers started missing their shots, finishing at 31% for the quarter. A few late buckets by McCollum gave the Blazers a modest lead.
End of First: Portland 26 Golden State 18
The benches saw the starters bricking jumpers and came in as if they wanted to takeover their jobs. Mo Speights hit back to back threes for Golden State while Crabbe and McCollum made some mid rangers to match. Ed Davis continued to play well off the bench in the series. Curry, Lillard and the starters returned at the 7 minute mark with the Blazers up 39-31.
With the jumper failing the Warriors, Green started driving and kept the Warriors in the game with free throws. HIs aggressiveness earned him a technical in the first and a near flagrant in the second but it put the Warriors in the bonus and they rode the foul line back into the game. A 10-0 run capped by an Iguodala 3 cut the lead to 48-45.
The end of the quarter started as a free throw contest between hack-a-Bogut and the Blazers front court (which nobody won but the crowd clearly lost) and then turned up the speed when both teams went small. Crabbe hit a timely 3 and Aminu added a few emphatic dunks. On the other end, Livingston was ejected after arguing a foul call. Lillard and McCollum combined for 33 points while Curry had 11 in his first half in a month.
Halftime: Portland 67 Golden State 57
Curry started in place of the ejected Livingston but any hope of the game turning into an offensive shootout was dashed by the ugly offensive sets on both sides. The Blazers settled for long jumpers that Lillard and McCollum were missing and contested layups that the front court couldn't finish. Green continued to Hulk himself towards the basket and used his free throws to close the gap. Crabbe hit a 3 to make it 76-68 but a pair of Thompson 3s and a Green 3 gave the Warriors their first lead at 79-78.
Crabbe and Henderson combined for some late offense but the Blazers entered the fourth down 1 thanks to a 29 point quarter for the Warriors.
End of Third: Portland 85 Golden State 86
Curry started the fourth and his impact was felt as the Warriors extended their lead immediately. Speights hit his third 3 and the game seemed like it was about to disappear for the Blazers. But McCollum converted back to back threes followed by a corner 3 by Aminu and all of a sudden the Blazers were up 96-95 with 7 minutes remaining.
The Warriors came at the Blazers with all their might but the Blazers matched them at every step. A Lillard 3 gave the Blazers a 105-103 lead with 2:40 remaining. Curry came right back with a 3 of his own and it looked like we might get a mystical Curry-Lillard duel before they both clunked consecutive threes. Mason Plumlee finished a tough layup before Harrison Barnes tied the game at 111 with 30 seconds left. Lillard and Curry missed consecutive shots to send the game to overtime.
The Blazers found some offense with McCollum and an Aminu 3 but the period belonged to Curry who showed why he's the MVP. He scored 17 in the overtime, pushing away any late Blazer heroics and surely brought tears to some Blazers fans.
The Blazers return to Oakland for Game 5 on Wednesday. Tip off is 7:30. Stay tuned to Blazer's Edge tonight for extended analysis of this game from Dave Deckard.