The depleted Golden State Warriors refused to let the desperate Portland Trail Blazers stay alive, winning 119-117 in overtime of Game 4 of the Western Conference Finals. This completes a four game sweep; the champs are the kings of the West for the fifth straight year and are headed back to the NBA Finals.
The Warriors didn’t have Kevin Durant, DeMarcus Cousins, or Andre Iguodala. Neither did they have excuses, as Stephen Curry played every second after halftime, and finished with 37 points, 13 rebounds, and 11 assists in 47 minutes. Draymond Green had 18 points, 14 rebounds, and 11 assists.
Meyers Leonard did his best to save Portland with 30 points, and Damian Lillard added 28 points of his own. C.J. McCollum scored 26...but it wasn’t enough. The Portland Trail Blazers magical run is now over, at the hands of the one true dynasty.
With their team’s back against the wall and their season on the line, the Blazers turned to the only man they could trust: MEYERS LEONARD.
Meyers Leonard hitting step-back 3s for 25 points in the first half pic.twitter.com/3z4HSzDN5w— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) May 21, 2019
Longtime Blazers whipping boy Meyers Leonard suddenly the most popular man in Oregon.— Monte Poole (@MontePooleNBCS) May 21, 2019
The plucky role player was unstoppable early on, drilling 10-of-12 of his shots, and 5-of-6 from downtown after two quarters. The Blazers finished the half shooting a scorching 61% from the field, and a sizzling 56% from beyond the arc.
Unfortunately for them, the Warriors walked right through the early flamethrowing with a smirk on their face.
Blazers lead by just four after the half of Meyers Leonard's life— Marcus Thompson (@ThompsonScribe) May 21, 2019
Curry was particularly unperturbed, firing right back with 25 points of his own. Every time the Blazers hit a big shot and got the crowd into it, Curry was right there to punish them with a deep bomb for having hope.
Here we have Steph Curry doing his best Meyers Leonard impression pic.twitter.com/YZBgc4hGHZ— Dan Greenberg (@StoolGreenie) May 21, 2019
Stephen Curry’s 25 first half points are the most he’s ever scored in the first half of a playoff game (previously 24 on April 16, 2016 vs. Houston). His high for any half is 33 (second half in Game 6 at Houston on May 10, 2019).— Warriors PR (@WarriorsPR) May 21, 2019
Was Steph Curry laughing on the court as the crowd desperately chanted "Meyers Leonard"??— Golden State of Mind (@unstoppablebaby) May 21, 2019
Blazers 69, Warriors 65
The Blazers refused to cave in to a Warriors third quarter run and stretched their lead to 95-87 behind a spirited effort from Lillard and McCollum.
CJ McCollum (24 PTS, 6 AST) and Damian Lillard (21 PTS, 10 AST) combine for 20 in the 3rd quarter on @ESPNNBA! #NBAPlayoffs #RipCity 95#StrengthInNumbers 87— NBA (@NBA) May 21, 2019
Meyers Leonard: 27 PTS, 8 REB pic.twitter.com/FHyXq4sH02
The Blazers had a 101-94 lead with nine minutes remaining and checked Lillard and McCollum in after a lengthy rest to start the fourth quarter.
The two teams were tied at with under 20 seconds to go when Curry got a WWF clothesline from Leonard on a layup. Uncalled. Curry recovered his looseball and moonwalked into the corner, and got called for a travel.
They called a travel on this late game Stephen Curry three-point attempt pic.twitter.com/fJFkgxlsgt— Def Pen Hoops (@DefPenHoops) May 21, 2019
Lillard tried to answered, but miffed on his layup attempt on the other end. WE’VE GOT OVERTIME FOLKS! Score was knotted up at 111-111.
The two teams dragged across the floor in exhaustion. Alfonzo McKinnie and Kevon Looney kept the champs have with monstrous rebounds and excellent defense. Finally, Draymond Green slammed the door on the Blazers season with a three-point dagger with 39.6 left.
DRAYMOND GREEN IS A TOP 15 PLAYER. FLAT OUT pic.twitter.com/DLehKZ45ov— Drew Shiller (@DrewShiller) May 21, 2019
The Warriors will now rest until Game 1 of the NBA Finals, where they will await the winner of the Toronto-Milwaukee series.
Rumor has it they’ll get their three injured Olympians back for that series, which should only bolster their STRENGTH IN NUMBERS.
Four games away from a three-peat. #WeStillBelieve