PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) Long after the Trail Blazers had left their court, many of Golden State's players celebrated on the floor at the Moda Center to the delight of a rather large contingent of yellow-clad fans who chanted "War-ri-ors!"
The Warriors, playing without coach Steve Kerr for the second consecutive game, won the best-of-seven Western Conference first-round series 4-0 to advance. The Warriors were also without Kevin Durant in Game 3, but that didn't even slow the team down, as Steph Curry and Klay Thompson took over the game and there was really nothing that Portland could do to stop them. Their 45 first-quarter points matched an National Basketball Association playoff record for points in an opening quarter, and they were up by 24 at halftime.
Steph Curry scored 37 on 12 of 20 shooting, while Draymond Green delivered 21 points, making 7 of 11 field goal attempts. "We were locked in and the guys were just focused on closing the job out".
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The Stephen Curry-inspired visitors raced into a 45-22 lead after the first quarter and never looked back as they secured a 128-103 victory.
INJURY UPDATE: Warriors F Kevin Durant is listed as questionable with a strained left calf that has kept him out of last two games.
CJ McCollum led the Blazers with 32 points, while Damian Lillard added 31. Curry's 3-pointer pushed Golden State's lead to 91-58. The Warriors will face the victor of the series between the Utah Jazz and the Los Angeles Clippers, which is tied 2-2.
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In his stead for Game 3 was Mike Brown, the lead assistant who previously was head coach of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Los Angeles Lakers.
It's tough to see this team losing in a seven-game series when it shoots as well as it did on Monday night. When they totaled just 23 points in Game 2, the Blazers were blown out by 29 points. "Everything that we tried to do, we tried to do it at a high level and it worked". Kerr said the symptoms "took a turn for the worse" last week, and he didn't rule out the possibility of his ailment forcing him to miss the entire playoffs. Golden State would lead by as many as 33, with both coaches handing the game over to their little-used reserved with almost half of the fourth quarter to play. "The players on the roster now need to continue to get better as they have". In Game 3, Blazers center Jusuf Nurkic appeared after his nine games missing due to a broken leg.
Brown had some rough stints in Los Angeles and then back in Cleveland again in 2013-14 with some awful teams before coming to the Golden State Warriors as an assistant coach, replacing Luke Walton who bounced to coach the Lakers.
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