Green wills Warriors past Trail Blazers, to 3-0 series lead

Mark Medina, The Mercury News on

Published in Basketball

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Draymond Green has endlessly elevated the Warriors with qualities that the stat sheet does not fully capture. Yet, Green surely left his imprint on the box score this time.

The most important statistic Green significantly affected? The final score. The Warriors prevailed with a 110-99 win over the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 3 of the Western Conference finals on Saturday largely because of Green's presence.

Green recorded his seventh career playoff triple-double and third this postseason with 20 points, 13 rebounds and 12 assists. He largely spearheaded the Warriors' third-quarter effort when they outscored Portland, 29-13. And when the Warriors struggled with missed shots and defense, Green prevailed with his unmatched intensity on both ends of the court to ensure a 3-0 series lead. The Warriors will play Game 4 against the Blazers, but Green may have all but sealed the series since no NBA team has ever overcome a 3-0 series deficit.

"There aren't many guys in the game that can (affect both ends of the floor)," Warriors coach Steve Kerr said of Green beforehand. "Draymond can do both."

Boy, can he ever. Green entered Game 3 ranked fourth in the NBA in assists, ninth in rebounding and seventh in blocks. Green continued that stellar play to complement Stephen Curry (36 points on 11-of-26 shooting) and Klay Thompson (19 points). Green helped the Warriors overcome an uneven first-quarter start that featured starting center Damian Jones collecting three early fouls. And in that critical third quarter, Green had four points, six rebounds and six assists.


Meanwhile, Portland's backcourt in Damian Lillard (23 points) and C.J. McCollum (19) shot a combined 12 of 38 from the field.

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