Golden State (2-0) at Portland (0-2)
When: Saturday, May 7th 2016
Where: Moda Center, Portland, OR
Time: 8:35 ET | TV: ABC
The Western Conference Semifinals series between the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers shifts to the Moda Center for Game 3 on Saturday night. Portland had a golden opportunity to tie the series in Game 2, but let an 11-point fourth quarter lead slip away and ended up not only losing 110-99, but not covering the nine-point spread either. The Blazers were outscored 34-12 in the deciding period and Damian Lillard, who had 25 points through the first three quarters, was held scoreless in the fourth. Shooting guard C.J. McCollum had 22 points for Portland, but is now 1-for-9 from three-point range in the series after hitting two 3’s in each of the previous five games against the Clippers. Portland won the final four games of its first-round series against the Los Angeles Clippers after dropping the opening two and is confident it can pull off a similar comeback. “We’ve been in bad positions time and time again, and we’ve never shied away,” Lillard told reporters. “We’ve never not answered the call. I don’t see why this time it would be any different.”
Golden State is still without star Steph Curry, but they seem to be doing just fine in his absence. Shaun Livingston had 14 points, 4 assists, and 4 rebounds in Game 2 and has scored in double figures in each of his five starts in place of Curry this postseason. All-Stars Draymond Green and Klay Thompson have been picking up the slack as well as Andre Iguodala off the bench. Green was three assists shy of a triple-double as he scored 17 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. He has also made 12 of his 13 free-throw attempts in the first two games of the series. Thompson went 0-for-7 from long-range in the Warriors’ only loss this postseason against Houston, but has since made 26 3’s in the last four games. His 64 points this series leads all players. “Everything has gone very smoothly,” Warriors coach Steve Kerr told reporters about Curry’s rehab after saying his star would “probably not” return on Saturday. “He hasn’t had any setbacks. He’s ramping up things in the weight room.”
It’s tough not to take Golden State again, but the Blazers did hand the Warriors a 32-point loss in Portland back in February. I think both of these games in Portland will be close, so I’ll take the points.
Pick: Blazers +3.5