Portland At Golden State
When: 10:30 PM
ET, Wednesday, May 11, 2016
Where: Oracle Arena, Oakland, California
It took Stephen Curry about three quarters to shake off the rust before breaking the hearts of Portland Trail Blazers fans in Game 4. Curry, who played a total of two halves in the first eight games of the postseason, scored an NBA-record 17 points in overtime of Game 4 to give the Golden State Warriors a chance to close out the visiting Blazers in Game 5 on Wednesday.
Curry, who became the first player in NBA history to be unanimously voted MVP when the award was announced on Tuesday, was not even assured of playing in Game 4 until making it through his pregame workout with no issues from an MCL sprain suffered in the first round against the Houston Rockets. Instead, the now two-time MVP logged 37 minutes off the bench and came alive in the fourth quarter before putting on a show in overtime and yelling, “I’m back” toward the crowd after draining one 3-pointer. "It took me awhile to get back in the flow," Curry told reporters. "When you miss three weeks, it’s really weird to walk back on the court. Like, the crowd out there going crazy and that competitive atmosphere again. So, just trying to get my bearings straight, make some plays and try and get a rhythm. And it took 48 minutes and things finally clicked.” Curry’s heroics overshadowed another strong performance from Portland point guard Damian Lillard, who finished with 36 points and 10 assists in the loss and was not ready to concede the series to the Warriors.
TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT
ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS: Lillard felt Portland had chances to win each of the last three games in the series and will go back to his hometown of Oakland, Calif., for Game 5 refusing to let the defending champions off easy. "We want to go out there and make sure they respect us, make sure they understand it's not going to be what everybody thinks it's going to be," Lillard told reporters. "It's not going to be no rolling over, it's not going to be no one here being scared, it's not going to be any of that." The Trail Blazers got strong efforts from C.J. McCollum (24 points) and Al-Farouq Aminu (18 points, 13 rebounds) in Game 4 to support Lillard but had some coverage breakdowns on Curry that need to be cleaned up before Wednesday.
ABOUT THE WARRIORS: Curry was supposed to play 25 minutes or so on Monday but was pressed into extra duty when Shaun Livingston was ejected just before the half for arguing with officials. Curry ended up with 40 points and added nine rebounds and eight assists – the most important assist coming when he found Harrison Barnes on the wing for a tying 3-pointer in the final minutes of regulation after crashing the lane and dragging a host of defenders with him. “The guy’s played basically one basketball game in three weeks,” Warriors head coach Steve Kerr told reporters of Curry. “I expected what I saw early, I expected a lot of rust. I don’t think anyone could’ve predicted the explosion. I figured that he’d find his stroke and make a few shots, but I mean, that was crazy.”
1. Warriors F Draymond Green recorded a career-high seven blocks to go along with 21 points, nine rebounds, five assists and four steals on Monday.
2. Portland C Mason Plumlee recorded his fourth double-double of the postseason with 12 points and 15 rebounds in the loss.
3. Golden State back the second team to record at least 80 wins – regular and postseason - in back-to-back seasons with the Game 4 victory (1995-96 and 1996-97 Chicago Bulls).
PREDICTION: Warriors 115, Trail Blazers 104
Stats and Records
Golden State Off vs
114.5 Points For
104.2 Points Against