PORTLAND – After their Game 3 loss, in which they felt they temporarily lost their identity at both ends of the court, the Warriors have set a goal of regaining it for Game 4 Monday night against the Trail Blazers.
Accomplishing that goal would give the Warriors a 3-1 lead over Portland and, moreover, put them on the brink of eliminating the Blazers from the Western Conference Semifinals.
The Warriors also could get a boost from Stephen Curry. The MVP, who has been out for two weeks, has a 50-50 chance of playing in Game 4.
In any case, the Warriors have made it clear their Game 3 performance was unacceptable and have vowed to make things more difficult for Portland.
Warriors by 6
MATCHUPS TO WATCH
Klay Thompson vs. Damian Lillard: Thompson again will be the primary defender on Portland’s most explosive scorer. Lillard went for 40 in Game 3, leading the Blazers to victory. The Warriors can live with that only if Thompson is highly efficient while also scoring at a similar rate.
Harrison Barnes vs. Al-Farouq Aminu: Aminu was fantastic in Game 3 and Barnes was, once again, practically invisible. This matchup was the X-factor, and the Warriors are tempting fate if Barnes can’t compete with Aminu at both ends.
Warriors: G Stephen Curry (R MCL sprain) is listed as questionable. F Kevon Looney (L hip surgery) is listed as out.
Trail Blazers: F Maurice Harkless (R hip soreness) is listed as probable. F/C Meyers Leonard (L shoulder surgery) is listed as out.
This is 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 13 of the last 17 meetings overall, dating back to the 2012-13 season. The Trail Blazers this season are the only team with two wins over the Warriors.
“We’ll prepare the way we preparing since he’s been out. And that’s going to continue. We know we’ve got to win without him. At this point in the series, it’s a bonus if he comes back now. We’ve played the entire series without him. We’ve won a couple games without him.” – Draymond Green on the possibility of Curry returning