Warriors Smother Blazers 110-99 to Lead Series 3-0

Stephen Curry doesn’t have an explanation for it. Draymond Green has no idea why. Steve Kerr is just plain grateful for it. Simply put, the Golden State Warriors don’t have a clue why they are awesomely, destructively, instinctively good in the third quarter of games.

Yet they are, and they were again on Saturday night, a post-halftime explosion being the predominant reason why the two-time defending champions are now on the verge of putting the Portland Trail Blazers away.

The Warriors’ 110-99 victory to open up a 3-0 advantage in the Western Conference finals wasn’t the most resilient or convincing of displays. For parts of the first half they were out-scored, out-thought and out-hustled at the Moda Center. However, this is a team capable of racking up points in huge bunches for which the rival defense has no answer. When they did it again here, it turned the game on its head.

The Blazers were feeling good about their chances when they went into the break holding a 66-53 advantage, but they were up against a different opponent after the interval, or at least one with a different mindset.

Golden State dominated the third quarter 29-13, stifling the home side’s offensive threat and finding their own scoring touch in the process. Curry had another exemplary game in the absence of the injury-stricken Kevin Durant, pouring in 36 points — including six 3-pointers.

It was earlier this season that the Warriors scored 49 points in a single quarter against the San Antonio Spurs. That was a third quarter. In 2015, Klay Thompson scored 37 points in a quarter. That was a third quarter. In Game 2, Golden State broke the Blazers’ backs with a surging run and you can guess when it happened.

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SOURCE: USA Today, Martin Rogers