Warriors vs. Trailblazers Game 5 Preview
This game had a first half that showed a determined Trailblazers team that was sparked by a raucous Portland crowd and a hot start from the three-point line. A first half that featured the return of injured MVP Stephen Curry from a 4 game absence due to a knee injury for an unproductive 10 minutes of court time. Perhaps most significantly a first half that had Warriors guard Shaun Livingston ejected from the game for arguing with an official after he was clearly fouled driving to the basket. His ejection ended up with Curry playing more minutes than the 25-minute restriction the team had talked about prior to the game. Curry continued to struggle with his shooting in the second half until he hit his first three pointer of the game to give the Warriors a 103-100 lead. From that moment on he proceeded to remind the Trailblazers and the rest of the NBA who the best player in the game is in the Warriors 132-125 overtime victory to put them on the brink of the Western Conference Finals Curry finished the game with 40 points. He saved his best for last with a legendary 17-point performance in the overtime that saw him hit several tough angle shots with defenders all over him. He mixed up his outside shots with finishes around the rim. It was also not just scoring as he finished with 9 points and 8 rebounds. Klay Thompson had 23 points including 5-10 from beyond the arc. Draymond Green had another outstanding game with 21 points, 9 rebounds, 5 assist, and 4 steals. Harrison Barnes had 10 points and 5 rebounds. Marqueese Speights had 11 off the bench including two three pointers in the first half when the Warriors were struggling. Damian Lillard was snubbed from the All-Star team this season and has apparently decided to punish the rest of the league because of it. He had an incredible performance from beginning to end with 36 points, 10 assists, and 6 rebounds. He shot poorly from the floor to start but was lethal in the second half. Al Faraq Aminu had 18 points on 3-6 from the three-point line and 13 rebounds continuing his impressive playoff run. Mason Plumlee had 12 points and 15 rebounds however he slowed the offense on many occasions by not being aggressive around the basket. C.J McCollum had 24 points and penetrated the Golden State defense constantly. Allan Crabbe, who is showing enough in these playoffs to get a nice contract in the offseason, had 13 points. Portland will bring the fight to the Warriors in game 5 that much is for sure. They are a gritty team that won’t back down from anybody including the Warriors. Curry will likely be back in the starting lineup and the Warriors will be back at full strength. The Trailblazers will need an off shooting night from the Warriors to have a legit chance. Expect Lillard to come out extremely aggressive.
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