Portland Trail Blazers
The Blazers blew yet another lead in game 3 with an atrocious second half that sees them fall into an 0-3 hole. Damian Lillard again wasn’t good enough, going just 5/18 from the field en route to 19 points and 6 assists. Likewise for CJ McCollum, who fought valiantly for his 20 points but ultimately shot just 7/20 from the field. Meyers Leonard and Evan Turner have emerged as potential X-Factors for this side, both scoring in double figures in game 3.
Golden State Warriors
Despite a sluggish start in game 3, another dominant Warriors second half saw them claim a well-deserved victory. Steph Curry continues to wreak havoc on the weaker competition, going off for 36 points, 6 boards, and 3 assists. Draymond Green was just as solid on the other end, adding 20 points, 13 boards, and 12 assists to go with his 4 steals. Klay Thompson rounded out the big 3 nicely, dropping 19 points, 5 boards, and 5 assists of his own. A potential worry for Golden State is the injury to Andre Iguodala, who shot just 1/5 from the field in his 18 minutes.
Prediction: Blazers +3.5
Having been swept in each of the past two post-seasons, Portland will be motivated to avoid that same fate here. Especially with the comebacks Golden State has pulled off in the last 2, I can see them being complacent in this one. If Andre Iguodala is out injured, that makes an already thin rotation even thinner. Ultimately, the Warriors have done their job in Portland and can’t be too upset if they have to finish things off in a game 5 at home.
While Portland’s players are definitely fatigued, Golden State is also imposing a very heavy workload on their starters. This makes me think we should see a somewhat slower pace in game 4, especially with only 1 day of rest. Combine the lower number of possessions with some relatively poor shooting from deep and it’s likely another low scoring affair in game 4. 220.5 points is a bit too high for my liking and I’m relatively confident in the under here.