MODA CENTER, PORTLAND, OR — This is a continuation of the halftime recap of the Golden State Warriors at the Portland Trail Blazers, Game 4 of the opening round of the NBA playoffs.
The Warriors took a whopping 72-48 lead into halftime.
Q3: Steph’s Late Imprint
Zaza Pachulia hit two early buckets and Stephen Curry hit a tough banker with the harm, but no foul call, and Blazers head coach Terry Stotts called a timeout as the Warriors took a 78-48 lead with 10:07 remaining.
Klay Thompson and Draymond Green carried over their hot shooting in the first half, hitting a dribble-and-pop and a three respectively, then Kevin Durant joined the party and also drilled a three from the right arc, plus a no-look pass to Pachulia for two more:
After Damian Lillard made a nice shake-and-bake move against Curry and got a layup, but Steph came back and pulled up from beyond the arc to keep the cushion huge, 91-58.
In fact, he turned back on defense before the ball went through the hoop:
Later, Durant missed a fade-away, Klay hit the side of the backboard, and Curry threw a pass behind a cutting JaVale McGee, enabling Al-Farouq Aminu to easily block the shot, and Lillard drew free throws to pull the Blazers to 93-68 with 4:11 to play.
But Steph answered with a dissecting scoop layup, Aminu hit a three in response, then Curry drained a long two from the right corner with C.J. McCollum draped all over him.
With 3:00 to go, Golden State held a 97-71 lead, although McGee picked up his fourth personal foul.
After a timeout, James McAdoo came in and got a dunk inside on a putback of an Andre Iguodala miss…
…Lillard tried to put the Blazers on his shoulders, but Curry went assassin-mode again and drilled a pull-up triple for yet another 2-for-1 advantage:
Shabazz Muhammad hit a trey on a nice side-step move, and Steph framed the quarter yet again by using the threat of the three to his advantage and attacking the lane for a coast-to-coast scoop, giving the Warriors a commanding 106-80 lead heading into the final frame:
Even dad Dell Curry was shaking is head in amazement:
As he did in the first half, David West kept the Warriors motor turning, getting a running hook to drop, drilling two free throws, and feeding Green for an alley-oop.
Stotts knew the end was near, as Golden State didn’t let up and the lead stayed close to thirty, 114-85, with 9:14 to go.
Incredibly, McCollum hadn’t hit a single bucket all night long and finally drained a deep two, but Draymond came back later with his fifth trey of the night and the Warriors were back up by thirty:
Andre Iguodala added a shimmy-shake baseline fade-away jumper, then rookie Damian Jones came in and got big blocked shot that resulted in an Ian Clark floater, keeping the Warriors far ahead, 122-97.
Lillard had also gotten a hero’s applause, exiting the game for the last time in the 2016-17 season.
After a few buckets by the Blazers’ mop-up crew, Jones made the final score of the game 128-108 with a layup, and Golden State became the first team in the Western Conference to advance in the brackets.
Curry tallied 37 points on 12-for-20 from the field, 7-for-11 from downtown, to go along with 8 rebounds and 7 assists:
The Warriors now await the winner of the opening round series between the No. 5 Clippers and No. 4 Jazz. Game 1 of the Western Conference Semifinals will start in six nights on Sunday if that series goes six games, and in eight nights on Tuesday of next week, if that series ends up going the maximum seven games.