OAKLAND (CBS SF) – The first will be the incredible offensive display from Portland’s backcourt tandem of C.J. McCollum and Damian Lillard.
The other will be Draymond Green rejecting not one, but two dunks at the rim to cap off a scintillating defensive effort.
“When you get a block at the rim, it’s a little different,” Green said. “That’s one of those plays where you are within a half of an inch to an inch or centimeter of being dunked on. So when you actually come up with the block, it’s exciting… at the rim it’s mano a mano, you know. Man against man. Who’s going to win the battle?”
Green scored 19 points, pulled down 12 rebounds, had 9 assists and just one turnover. An offensive line that would be the envy of many.
However, it was on the defensive end where his impact was too much for the Trail Blazers to overcome.
Of his 12 rebounds, 11 were on the defensive bounds. He had five blocks, finished with three steals and had several other deflections.
Even Warriors head coach Steve Kerr was shaking his head at the end of the game.
“He played a game that I’m not sure anybody else in the league is capable of, honestly,” Kerr said. “Who else can do what Draymond just did tonight? He’s so unique and so important to us. He was phenomenal.”
In his post-game press conference, Green gave an insight into what makes him so unique. He always is the first to take blame. He also gives credit to others and he had a love affair with the Warriors fans who are among the best and loudest in the league.
How did Golden State over the Lillard-McCollum onslaught?
“It started with our crowd,” he said. “They kept us in it. Those guys were hitting shots that normally drains the life out of a building. Our crowd brought it from the beginning to the end. We were able to feed off it until we were able to get our ground.”
Even as he was making plays, Green was not about to allow the effort and energy from reserves David West and JaVale McGee be overlooked.
“It (the Warriors taking control of the game) started with the energy of JaVale in the third quarter,” Green said. “And although they made a run at the end to close (tied at 88-88 at end of the 3rd quarter) our energy transferred over. Then David came in and he was huge on those ball screens. They could not get downhill anymore.”