PORTLAND, Ore. (CBS SF/AP) – In a huge comeback, the Golden State Warriors pulled past Portland to win Game 3 in the Western Conference finals, Saturday night. The final score was 110-99, giving the Warriors a solid 3-0 series lead.
Portland led by 13 points at half-time, but were overwhelmed in the second half. The Warriors outscored the Trailblazers 29-13.
Stephen Curry led Golden State with 36 points, and Draymond Green brought the passion, with 20 points, 13 rebounds, 12 assists and four steals. Klay Thompson brought 19 points.
“I don’t even know what to say about Draymond,” said Steve Kerr in a post-game interview. “He was like a wrecking ball, destroying everything in his path… It’s one of the best games I’ve ever seen him play.”
Kevin Durant was out for a fourth straight game and didn’t travel to Portland with the team. The two-time reigning NBA Finals MVP is still out with a right calf injury and isn’t set to be re-examined until next week.
CJ McCollum had 23 points for the Trail Blazers, who led by 18 points in the second quarter. Damian Lillard added 19 points, but Portland was hurt at the line, making just 20 of 33 attempts.
After trailing 66-53 at the half, the Warriors mounted a third-quarter comeback to lead 82-79 going into the fourth. Jonas Jerebko’s jumper pushed the lead to 90-82 with 7:26 left. Curry’s 3-pointer made it 98-87 with just under five minutes to go, and Portland struggled to catch up — similar to their fourth-quarter fade in Game 2.
No team has ever come back from an 0-3 deficit to win in the playoffs. Only three series have gone to a seventh game after one team opened with a 3-0 lead.
Both teams switched up their lineups for Game 3, with Portland’s Meyers Leonard making his first start of the playoffs at center. Enes Kanter, despite sustaining a separated shoulder in the first-round series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, started in all the previous games. Leonard provided a spark and finished with a career playoff-high 16 points.
Warriors coach Steve Kerr started Damian Jones, who hadn’t started since December and had made just two previous appearances in the playoffs. Jones, who played in just 24 games in the regular season because of a torn pectoral muscle, collected three fouls in the game’s opening three minutes and headed to the bench.
The Blazers will host Game 4 on Monday.