PORTLAND, Hours. – The experience of raising trust for the Golden State Warriors, even when challenged by the Portland Trail Blazers.
No matter how far away they were, they spent too much time thinking they were out.
"We really understand what we can do on both sides of basketball," said Draymond Green. "We are never out of action, it is always our mentality."
The Warriors won the fifth consecutive final of the NBA, obtaining triple-doubles from Stephen Curry and Green in a victory of the extraordinary 119-117 Monday night.
The two reigning champions overcame a double-digit deficit for the third consecutive match against the Blazers, for the first time since 2000 in the conference finals.
Green scored 18 points, 14 rebounds and 11 assists and made a triple key in overtime. Curry added 37 points, 12 rebounds and 11 assists. They became the first teammates to have double triples in the same playoff game.
The Warriors will face the winner of the Eastern Conference final between Toronto and Milwaukee. The Bucks lead that 2-1 series with Game 4 on Tuesday evening in Canada.
The Warriors returned from 17 onwards after canceling an 18-point deficit in Game 3 and a 17-point gap in Game 2.
"We've already been here, we've seen everything, every experience you can imagine, so we relied on this," Curry said.
Playing without Kevin Durant, Andre Iguodala and DeMarcus Cousins, the Warriors became the first team to reach five consecutive finals since the Boston Celtics went 10 in a row from 1957 to 1966.
– NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) 21 May 2019
Damian Lillard, playing with separate ribs, had 28 points and 12 assists for Portland. He lost a 3-point attempt while time ran out in the extra period. Meyers Leonard added 30 points to the career with 12 rebounds.
The Warriors gained 114-113 in the extra period after Green missed the first of a pair of free throws. The CJ McCollum rider from outside the court almost gave Portland the advantage, but Alfonzo McKinnie's basket took Golden State back and Green made a 3-pointer to bring it to 199-115 with 39 seconds left.
Lillard made a layup and Curry missed a jumper to give Portland the ball. Facing the suffocating defense from both Green and Klay Thompson, Lillard was unable to repel a shot, but the ball went out of the way. The Blazers came back with 3.3 seconds left but Lillard's final shot did not fall.
A Blazer trainer Terry Stotts was asked if he expected another buzzer winner from Lillard, who had a memorable 3-pointer on the buzzer to win the first round series against Oklahoma City.
"Yes, I did, I thought it would go – kind of meaning," Stotts said. "When he shot, he had a good bow. I thought he had a chance."
The Blazers extended the lead to 17 points in the third quarter, but the Warriors made the 12-0 to close in 95-90 at the start of the final period.
Green's long jumper gave the Warriors an advantage of 108-106 at 3:30 from the end. The 3-episode of Lillard brings the Blazers back into play and Leonard's dunk extends it to 111-108 with just under 2 minutes left.
After Thompson's 3-pointer tied him back to both Curry and Lillard, there are 3 seconds left. Curry made a 3 from the corner with 10.7 seconds left, but was first called to travel and didn't count.
Lillard's layup bounced off the edge and out and the game went to work overtime.
Iguodala was out due to a painful left calf. The swing veteran, with an average of 10.1 points in the playoffs, was injured in the second half of Saturday's 3 win.
It was not known how long it would have come out, but the Warriors said an MRI Sunday was clear.
Golden State was already losing Durant due to a right calf injury. No one knows when the MVP Finals of the NBA Finals will be back. Cousins also sat, injuring his left quadriceps in the opening round.
All love. pic.twitter.com/iFDsSHdOWZ
– Golden State Warriors (@warriors) 21 May 2019
"We've had people who have been escalating all the time and we don't see it now that those guys keep increasing, whatever happens with the wounds we have," Green said. "You know, we're trying to win this thing, never the goal is just to get there."
Lillard separated his ribs in Race 2 but was playing through the pain. He averaged 33 points in the first round series against Oklahoma City, but fought against Golden State's defensive attention on him.
Playing urgently in a preliminary match, Portland pulled forward 30-28 in the first opening on the layup and CJ McCollum's free throw, but Curry responded from the other side with a 3-point step-back.
Portland went ahead 59-50 after Leonard's 3 points, which ended with 3 to 3 in the first half.
Curry hit a 3-pointer with 2.6 seconds left in the middle to close the Warriors within the 69-65 range.
Portland took the lead to 83-72 on McCollum's triple. After making another 3 to bring the advantage to 91-78, he motioned for the crowd to make noise. McCollum finished with 26 points.
Warriors: Curry made a 3-pointer in a playoff record of 106 games. … Quarterback Colin Kaepernick was among the fans of the game, sitting a few places off the Warriors bench. … For Elias Sports and the Warriors, Curry had a string of 81 consecutive free throws in the fourth quarter and overtime in the post-season – before he lost one with 9:25 left in the game against the Blazers.
Trail Blazers: Leonard, who hasn't even played in five of Portland's post-season games, scored a 16 point record in game 3. After scoring 25 in the first half, fans of the Fashion Center sang his name.
FIVE IS NOT EASY
The Warriors are just the sixth professional team in North America to participate in five consecutive championships, along with Montreal Canadiens (NHL), Boston Celtics (NBA), Cleveland Browns (NFL), New York Yankees (MLB) and New York Islanders (NHL ).
The former Oregon wide receiver Keanon Lowe had a standing ovation when it was presented to the crowd at the Moda Center in the first quarter. Lowe, a trainer at Parkrose High School in Portland, stopped a student who arrived at the rifle armed school on Friday.
"I saw the expression on his face, the look in his eyes, I looked at the gun, I realized it was a real gun and then my instinct took over," Lowe, 27, said he struggled with the gun away from the teenager. Lowe spoke to reporters before the game.
The suspect, 19-year-old Angel Granados-Diaz, pleaded not guilty at the start of Monday during a brief hearing.