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BBNBA: Warriors Sneak Out of Oakland With 2-0 Series Lead

(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

(Photo by Noah Graham/NBAE via Getty Images)

Good afternoon, folks. Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins could both be out until Game 5 of the WCF. Let’s talk NBA Playoffs.

RECAP

(3) Trail Blazers – 111 @ (1) Warriors – 114 (GSW leads 2-0)

  • Depending on how the rest of this series goes, we might not see Kevin Durant or DeMarcus Cousins suit up for the Warriors until the NBA Finals. Both players are scheduled to be reevaluated in one week and could be cleared by then. However, their team might not even need them. After Golden State overcame a 15-point halftime deficit in Game 2 without those two All-Stars – one of them being a former MVP – it’s hard to imagine this series going the distance. As of April 19, according to Oddshark, only 20 NBA teams have come back to win a series after losing the first two games. Out of a possible 282 examples, that’s a little over seven percent of the time. Factoring in that the Warriors are the Warriors and my hope for Portland wanes. They had to steal Game 2 on the road, and they damn near did it.
  • Because as I said, the Blazers held a 15-point lead at halftime. Damian Lillard didn’t even score a point through the first 20 minutes of the game and the Portland bench was in a rhythm. Everyone from Al-Farouq Aminu (nine points, six rebounds) to Seth Curry (16 points, four made triples) to Mo Harkless (12 points, four rebounds) made an impact in this game, most of it coming in the first half. CJ McCollum dropped 16 points through the first two quarters and the team as a whole couldn’t miss from deep.
  • But if you’ve watched the Warriors over the past few years, you’d know how much they adore third-quarter runs where they suck the heart and soul out of its opponents with a barrage of triples and Draymond Green alley-oops. Golden State posted 39 points in the third compared to only 24 from Portland. 13 of Klay Thompson’s 24 points came in that period. Steph Curry finished with 37 points, eight rebounds, and eight assists. Despite his brother, Seth, knocking down a massive three-pointer to give Portland a one-point lead with only a minute left, the elder Curry got the best of his sibling at the final buzzer. Andre Iguodala stripped Lillard on a would-be game-tying triple and immediately sprinted to the locker room in disbelief of his own greatness.

  • Enes Kanter played only 19 minutes and was the only Blazer who didn’t look comfortable. Whether or not he’s just going through a rough period, struggling with playing while fasting, or just not a good matchup against the Warriors, Kanter has not played up to expectations through two games. The former Kentucky big posted four points and five rebounds, missing a good chunk of the second half. ESPN’s Doris Burke said that Kanter couldn’t even take a sip of water until the sun had officially gone down, which didn’t happen until around 8:20 P.M. on the West Coast. But Portland still needs everything it can get from Kanter (especially since backup center Zach Collins registered five fouls in only eight minutes) no matter what his production level is. He’s a big body that has shown his competitiveness can allow him to at least survive on defense and he’s been a reliable safety valve for Lillard/McCollum under the basket. I don’t know how he’s going to be able to do it without water/food/energy, but it only makes me want to root harder for him whenever he does step on the court. I respect the hell out of Kanter for what he’s doing both on and off the court during the most important playoff run of his career. There’s a lot to be said about a man who is that committed to what he believes in. It’s admirable.
  • Game 3 will head to Portland and tip-off on Saturday night at 9:00 P.M. EST on ESPN.

STATISTICS

PlayerResult PointsFG (3FG)Reb.Ast.StealsBlocksTOs+/-Mins.
Enes Kanter (POR)111-114 L @ GSW42-3 (0-0)50112+419
DeMarcus Cousins (GSW)114-111 W vs. PORDNP-Quad----------------
Skal Labissiere (POR)111-114 L @ GSWDNP-CD----------------

TONIGHT IN THE NBA

8:30 (TNT): Raptors (Meeks) @ Bucks (Bledsoe) (MIL leads 1-0)

Article written by Zack Geoghegan

Covering all things NBA and UK Hoops. Follow me on Twitter: @ZGeogheganKSR