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Draymond Green
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Basketball Daily Dose

Warriors Take 3-0 Lead vs. Blazers

by Tommy Beer

Golden State Warriors 110 - Portland Trail Blazers 99:
No Kevin Durant, no problem once again for Golden State, as they followed a similar script from Game 2.

The Warriors fell behind big in the first half, but regained the lead the third quarter and closed the game out in the fourth behind monster efforts from Draymond Green and Stephen Curry. Per Stats, Inc. Golden State is the first NBA team in the shot-clock era (since 1954-55) to overcome a 13-plus point halftime deficit to win in back-to-back playoff games. 

Green recorded yet another triple-double on Saturday, scoring 20 points (6-of-12 FGs, 8-of-9 FTs) grabbing 13 rebounds and dishing out 12 assists, to go with along with four steals and one block in 38 minutes. According to Basketball-Reference, Green joined Denver's Fat Lever as just the second NBA player ever with at least 20 points, 12 boards, 12 dimes and four steals in a playoff game. It was Draymond's third triple-double of the 2019 playoffs, and he is one of only five players in NBA history to record a triple-double in three straight series in a single postseason. Draymond has 120 assists in the playoffs, which leads the league.

Stephen Curry was also excellent on Saturday night, pouring in 36 points (11-of-26 FGs, 8-of-9 FTs) with six rebounds, three assists, six 3-pointers and five turnovers in 37 minutes. Over the Warriors last five games, all wins, Curry is averaging 33.4 points, 6.2 rebounds, 5.4 assists and 5.2 treys. Curry has now scored at least 30 points and knocked down five 3-pointers in a playoff game 24 times in his career. No other player in NBA history has more than nine such games. Incredibly, Golden State is 30-1 in the last 31 games they have played with Curry but without Kevin Durant (including 6-0 in the playoffs). Klay Thompson had 19 points, five boards and five assists in 40 minutes. 

One bit of concern on the Golden State sideline is Andre Iguodala's health. Iggy exited Game 3 early due to tightness in his left calf. While he was able to return, he logged only 18 minutes and will undergo an MRI on Sunday. Even if the MRI comes back clean, we can expect Golden State to rest him in Game 4, as they will most certainly need him healthy in the next round. If the Warriors win Game 4 on Monday, they'll have ten days off before Game 1 of the Finals.

Damian Lillard was unable to snap out of his slump on Saturday, as he shot 5-of-18 from the floor and finished with 19 points, six rebounds, six assists, two steals, three 3-pointers and five turnovers in 40 minutes. Dating back to Game 7 vs. Denver, Lillard is averaging just 18.5 points while shooting 28.6 percent from the floor. However, we found out early Sunday morning that Dame has been dealing with an injury of late. Lillard has separated ribs and is playing through the injury, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic. He suffered the injury in Game 2 on Thursday and plans to continue playing through the pain. 

Meyers Leonard got a surprise start for Portland and shockingly provided a much-needed lift early on. He was the Blazers leading scorer at halftime and ended up with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, three rebounds, four assists and three 3-pointers in 31 minutes. He likely earned another start on Monday. Enes Kanter (seven points and five rebounds) logged just seven minutes off the bench. C.J. McCollum had 23 points, three boards, five dimes and two steals, but shot just 7-of-20 from the floor. 

No team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to win in the playoffs (0-135 all-time).

Sunday's Schedule:
Milwaukee Bucks at Toronto Raptors
7:00 pm EST on TNT

The Bucks have jumped out to a 2-0 lead in the Eastern Conference Finals after fighting off the Raps in closely-contested Game 1 and then demolishing them in Game 2 on Friday night. 

Milwaukee never trailed in Game 2 and was led by Giannis Antetokounmpo, who exploded for 30 points, 17 rebounds, five assists, one steal, two blocks, four turnovers and one 3-pointer in 35 minutes. With LeBron James watching from home in L.A., Antetokounmpo is making a case that he be considered the game's greatest player. The Bucks are 10-1 in the postseason and, per Basketball-Reference, the Greek Freak is just the sixth player in NBA history with at least 300 points, 100 rebounds and 50 assists through a team's first 11 playoff games. The other five are Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, LeBron James, Larry Bird, Oscar Robertson and Hakeem Olajuwon.

Dating back to Game 2 of their series vs. the Celtics, Milwaukee has won six straight. Over their last five, Giannis is averaging a whopping 29.0 points, 13.6 rebounds, 6.2 assists, 1.6 steals and 2.2 blocks, while shooting 56.5% from the field. The frightening part is Antetokounmpo hasn't played an A+ game yet. The Raps have to slow him down if they want to a chance to win Game 3. 

The Bucks also got a terrific lift from their bench on Friday. Ersan Ilyasova had his best game of the postseason, scoring 17 points with three rebounds, two assists, two steals and two 3-pointers in 21 minutes. George Hill chipped in 13/5/2 in 24 minutes. Malcolm Brogdon had another solid game, tallying 14 points, four rebounds and five assists in 25 minutes. 

Kawhi Leonard did all he could to carry the load for Toronto in Game 2, but it wasn't enough. He scored 31 points to go along with eight rebounds, two assists, one block and one 3-pointer in 38 minutes. However, no other Raptor scored more than 15. Pascal Siakam was disappointingly quiet, finishing with eight points and one rebound. Marc Gasol also remained stuck in a funk. He finished with two points on 1-for-9 shooting and five rebounds. He was limited to just 19 minutes, with only five in the second half. For what it's worth, he took "full responsivity" for the loss. Over the Raps last four games, dating back to Game 6 vs. the Sixers, Gasol is averaging 5.5 points while shooting a putrid 25 percent from the floor and 18.8 percent from downtown. Toronto needs him to step up. 

Unfortunately for Toronto, history is not on their side. The Bucks have never lost a series when leading 2-0; winning each of the previous 13 times they've been in this position. Meanwhile, the Raptors have never won a series in which they were down 2-0, losing all seven times they've been in this spot. Game 3 is obviously a must-win for Toronto.

Tommy Beer