When the 2019 NBA Western Conference Finals began, a sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers didn’t seem likely for the Golden State Warriors. Yet, Stephen Curry and Draymond Green made it happen.
Portland, to its credit, after being blown out in game one played excellent basketball. The Trail Blazers took advantage of shaky defense by the Warriors in games two, three and four and got leads to 17, 18 and 17.
Game three seemed like a Trail Blazers blowout. Green though kept the Warriors in the game by attacking the basket including a buzzer beater to end the first half. The Warriors then made a defensive adjustment on Damian Lillard by trapping him and when he did get a shot off it got contested whether from beyond the arc or at the rim.
As for game four, late in the third it seemed that the Blazers finally put the clamps on the Warriors. Steve Kerr elected to take Klay Thompson out after the lead ballooned to 17.
Curry made a three, Green made a layup, Livingston a jumper and two free throws by Kevon Looney and in less than two minutes the Warriors were right back in the game.
Offensive rebounds became the story for the Warriors as Looney and Alfonso McKinnie were able to score off several. Thompson tied the game at 111 with a three on a shot that many do not take.
After a missed three by Lillard, Curry got the opportunity to attack the basket and at least get to the free throw line with Meyers Leonard as the only defender. He did get fouled, yet no whistle on the Trail Blazers. The result of the play a travel.
Lillard got an excellent look to win the game in regulation and missed. In overtime, Portland got a number of good looks that rolled out. A looney tip-in gave the Warriors a two point lead. Evan Turner tied the game with a jumper.
A shooting foul on Turner resulted in free throws being split by the Warriors. McCollum buried a jumper to give Portland a one point lead. Curry got a good look at a three and missed yet McKinnie was right there for the putback. After a miss by the Trail Blazers, Curry found a wide open Green who buried a three to give the Warriors a four point lead. Lillard went to the basket for an easy layup.
Portland didn’t need to foul and didn’t. Curry missed a floater and the Trail Blazers got an opportunity to tie or go for the win. Lillard again went to the basket yet excellent defense by Green and Thompson knocked the ball out-of-bounds with 3.3 seconds left.
On the in-bounds, McCollum curled allowing Lillard an opportunity to catch the ball and take a three in the corner. Thompson closed out on him perfectly forcing the miss and giving the Warriors the win and their fifth straight Western Conference championship.
Notes: Leonard scored 25 points in the first half, scored only five in the second half.
Curry and Green are the first teammates in NBA history to record triple-doubles in the same game.
Curry also matched Leonard with 25 points in the first half
This is the third straight year for Rodney Hood being on an opposing team that has been swept by the Warriors