Programming note: Watch Warriors Playoff Central tonight at 6:30pm on CSN Bay Area, and streaming live right here.
OAKLAND – Warriors forward Draymond Green says the Trail Blazers are “done” for the postseason, that Game 5 Wednesday night will be their gateway to summer vacation.
The Warriors, however, have come to realize that ousting Portland is a difficult task – though one made easier by the fact that Game 5 will be played at Oracle Arena, where the defending champs are 44-2 this season, including 5-0 in the playoffs.
Another factor in favor of the Warriors: Stephen Curry is back. The back-to-back MVP was marvelous in Game 4, scoring 40 points, including a record 17 in overtime, to will his team to victory in Game 4 at Portland.
The Warriors, already deep, suddenly are deeper still.
The crucial question is whether the young and spunky Blazers, particularly guards Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum, have enough firepower to take this series back to Oregon.
Warriors by 13
MATCHUP TO WATCH
Curry vs. Lillard: Though Curry won’t often defend Lillard, these two likely will set the tone for the game. Lillard loves to makes statements in Oakland, his hometown. Curry loves to make statements, period. After Curry’s exhilarating effort in Game 4, Lillard will be primed for a comeback.
Warriors: F Kevon Looney (L hip surgery) is listed as out.
Trail Blazers: F/C Meyers Leonard (L shoulder surgery) is listed as out.
The Warriors hold a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series, the first time the teams have met in the postseason. The Warriors won three of four meetings in the regular season, taking both games in Oakland and splitting two in Portland. The Warriors have won 14 of the last 18 meetings overall, dating back to the 2012-13 season. The Blazers are the only team this season to beat the Warriors twice.
“This is a team that’s not going to quit. A lot of people are looking at it like, ‘Draymond said they’re done.’ I didn’t say they were quitting. I don’t think they’re quitting . . . they’re not going to quit. They’re going to continue to battle. But we feel like if we come out and put our best foot forward, then nothing else matters.” – Green clarifying his statement on the Blazers after Game 4