Curry, Green star as Warriors sweep Blazers
Stephen Curry and Draymond Green capped triple-double performances by combining on the game-clinching hoop in overtime on Monday night as the Golden State Warriors completed a sweep of the host Portland Trail Blazers in the Western Conference Finals with a 119-117 victory.
The win vaults the Warriors into their fifth consecutive NBA Finals. They will await the Eastern Conference winner between Milwaukee and Toronto, with either the Bucks or Raptors holding the home-court advantage in the best-of-seven series.
Golden State, the two-time defending champion, join the Boston Celtics (1957-66) as the only teams ever to reach five consecutive NBA Finals.
Playing without Andre Iguodala, Kevin Durant and DeMarcus Cousins, the Warriors led just 116-115 before Curry spotted Green open for a three-pointer that pushed the Golden State lead to four with just 39.6 seconds remaining in overtime.
Damian Lillard got Portland with 119-117 with 32.8 seconds left with a driving hoop, and the Trail Blazers got the ball back after Curry missed at the other end.
However, Lillard had a shot blocked by Klay Thompson, and after Portland got the ball out of bounds with 2.5 seconds left, Lillard misfired on a desperation three-pointer, ending the Trail Blazers’ season.
Curry finished with 37 points, 13 rebounds and 11 assists. Green chipped in with 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists for the Warriors, who won their sixth straight game overall and their 10th straight playoff game against Portland.
The triple-doubles were the first by team-mates in NBA postseason history. Green’s was his fourth of this postseason, while Curry’s was his first.
Thompson had 17 points, and Alfonzo McKinnie and Kevon Looney contributed 12 apiece for the Warriors, who won their 11th straight playoff series.
Meyers Leonard poured in a career-best 30 points, Lillard had 28 and CJ McCollum added 26 for the Trail Blazers, who had staved off elimination twice in their previous series against the Denver Nuggets.
Zach Collins had 10 points off the bench for Portland, who lost despite outscoring the Warriors 48-36 on three-pointers.
The Trail Blazers led 69-65 at half-time, then for the first time in the last three games were able to build upon it in the third quarter.
With McCollum scoring 11 points and Lillard nine, Portland went up by as many as 17 points late in the period at 95-78 on a jumper by Leonard. That hoop capped a 10-0 run.
But the Warriors chipped away, first by scoring the last nine points of the third quarter to close within 95-87, and then drawing even at 104-all on a lay-up by Curry with 4:34 to play.
The game was tied at 106 and 111 before the teams went the final 1:48 without scoring.
Each team had a late shot at a regulation win, but Curry travelled before nailing a three-pointer with 10.7 seconds left, and Lillard couldn’t convert a drive in traffic in the final second.
The Trail Blazers, who had double-digit leads at half-time in both Game 2 and Game 3, got the better of the first 24 minutes again, with Leonard contributing 25 points to a four-point lead.
The 25 points by Leonard already were more than he had ever scored in a complete game, regular season or postseason. His previous career high was 24 at Oklahoma City in 2015.
The Warriors trailed by as many as 12 in the opening half but kept within arm’s length thanks to Curry, who matched Leonard’s 25 points before the break.