Posted on May 21, 2019, by Travis Pulver
The Portland Trail Blazers went into Game Four knowing their backs were against the wall. They would have to make history if they were going to make the NBA Finals and become the first team to overcome an 0-3 series deficit. No one has ever done it, but someone has to be first.
So, why not them?
The impossible would have to start with a win in Game Four, of course. For much of the game it looked like they might have a shot.
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A hard-fought first quarter saw the Warriors take a one-point advantage into the second, 36-35. But Portland pulled ahead about midway through the quarterback and managed to stretch the lead out to 12-points but then an eight-point flurry by Steph Curry in the final 30 seconds cut the lead to four, 69-65.
If the previous games were an indication, the second half would be where the Trail Blazers would give up the game—but not this time. Instead, they managed to keep the pressure on and extended their lead out to 17-points, 95-78, with 1:55 to play in the quarter.
However, that was enough time for the Warriors to go on a 9-0 run and cut the deficit down to eight points, 95-87.
Portland quickly pushed the lead out to 11 early in the fourth only to see Golden State take over the game and erase the lead. But with 4:34 left and the game tied at 104-104, Portland wasn’t ready to throw in the towel.
They regained the lead, 111-108, with two minutes to go. Moments later, Klay Thompson hit a three-pointer to tie the game up. No one else made a shot in regulation.
So, the game went to overtime where it remained close until Draymond Green hit a three-pointer with 39 seconds left to give the Warriors a four-point lead, 119-115. A quick layup pulled Portland within two, but then Green blocked a Damian Lillard layup with 3.3 seconds to seal the win.
Lillard managed to get off one more three-point attempt but missed.
Steph Curry was forced to carry the Warriors offense for most of the game accounting for 37 points (7-16 from three-point range), 13 rebounds, and 11 assists. Klay Thompson struggled from the floor but still pitched in 17 points. But the star of the show was the effort on both sides of the floor by Draymond Green (18 points, 14 rebounds, 11 assists, three steals, and two blocks).
“We just really understand what we’re capable of on both sides of the basketball,” Draymond Green said after the game, via ESPN. “We’re never out of the fight. That’s just always our mindset.”
Portland finally got a decent night from Damian Lillard (28 points) and C.J. McCollum (26 points). But it was Meyers Leonard that led the way with 30 points (12-16 from the floor; 5-8 from three-point range), 25 of which came in the first half.
“Give the Warriors credit,” Portland center Meyers Leonard said after the game. “They have kind of been there, done that, obviously. They are able to sustain a certain level of play and execution that clearly allowed them to find their way back the last three games.”
But Golden State will have to wait and see how the Eastern Conference Finals play out to see who they will face this year in the NBA Finals. Milwaukee has a 2-1 lead on Toronto and is a heavy favorite to win the series (-615).
Odds on the NBA Finals have already been posted with the Warriors favored to win no matter who they face (-180 versus Milwaukee and -300 versus Toronto).