Warriors sweep Trail Blazers, Raptors claim key win


Despite Durant's absence, the Warriors hold a 3-0 lead as they attempt to close out the Western Conference first-round series in Portland. Waiting for the victor of this series will be either the Los Angeles Clippers or the Utah Jazz who are tied up at 2 in their first round.

Dwight Howard had a double-double by halftime and finished with 16 points and 15 boards as the Hawks topped the visiting Wizards, 111-101 to knot that series at two games apiece. Portland G CJ McCollum, who averaged 28 points in the first three games of the series, went scoreless on 0-of-9 shooting in the first half. "Our training staff cleared him to play and if anybody can play, we're going to play him. We didn't play almost as well as we needed to and they showed why they're a championship team".

Bradley Beal scored 32 points, bouncing back from a dismal performance in Game 3, and John Wall had another stellar performance with 22 points and 10 assists. The first half of his almost two-minute message was focused on congratulating Paul George and the Indiana Pacers after the Cavs completed their sweep of them on Sunday.

The Warriors announced Saturday afternoon that Kerr, who missed the team's morning shootaround, would not be able to coach Game 3 against the Portland Trail Blazers on Saturday night because of an illness.

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Damian Lillard scored 34 points for the Blazers, who were making their fourth straight appearance in the playoffs. "When you can't sustain your mental focus against them, in five minutes you can be down 25 points". "I understand that's what it is", Lillard said Monday night.

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"Indescribable", Portland coach Terry Stotts said of the Warriors' start. It was everyone. As was the case this entire series, the Warriors didn't get a poor performance from anywhere in their rotation. The largest margin was 33. They finished with an National Basketball Association playoff record-tying 45 points in the period.

Durant has missed Golden State's last two games against the Blazers because of the injury, which occurred in the third quarter of last Sunday's Game 1 victory against the Trail Blazers. A first-year assistant for the Warriors, Brown was coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Los Angeles Lakers. "Our guys were locked in on both ends of the floor. Everything we did, we tried to do at a high level, and it worked".

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Durant getting back to a hundred percent will be quite vital for Golden State's postseason success. I think about when the Pistons were just beating up on (Michael) Jordan and kicking his butt every year and he had to get through them if he wanted to get to where he wanted to go. "The players on the roster now need to continue to get better as they have".

The Warriors wanted to end the series Monday night for several reasons.

"He's obviously going through a lot physically, and that's first and foremost for him to take care of himself, make sure he's on the road to recovery and feeling like himself", Curry said of Kerr at the postgame podium.

"Well, we know he's comfortable in that position and he's got a ton of playoff experience. I was proud of the way we came out and set the tone".

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He scored 10 points on seven shots in 20 minutes and looked good as new. He's a challenge. (Former) MVP.