Warriors sweep Blazers, get needed break
PORTLAND—The Warriors can breathe for a bit after a first-round series filled with drama.
With a sweep of the Portland Trail Blazers, Golden State now awaits the conclusion of the series between the Utah Jazz and Los Angeles Clippers—currently tied at 2.
The Warriors will also await word on coach Steve Kerr’s health—with the short break perhaps providing more clarity about when he can rejoin the team. Kerr missed the last two games after symptoms from his back surgery two years ago suddenly flared up.
The 51-year-old coach was in obvious discomfort just before the team left for the two games at Portland’s Moda Center. It was announced a few hours before Game 3 that he would stay back at the team hotel. Assistant Mike Brown, who has plenty of head coaching experience, took over.
A day later, Kerr told the media he wouldn’t be available for Game 4, either.
“As of now, I’m consulting with my doctors,” Kerr said. “I’m hoping for some improvement and if I can get some improvement, I’ll get back on the sidelines. But I’m not going to do that unless I know I can help the team.”
Kerr still experiences lingering symptoms from complications following two back surgeries after the franchise’s run to the 2015 championship. He missed the first 43 games last season dealing with symptoms such as headaches, nausea and an aching neck.
He was at Game 4 at the Moda Center, watching from the locker room as the Warriors beat the Trail Blazers 128-103 to close out the series in four games.
Stephen Curry scored 37 points as all of Golden State’s starters were in double figures.
“We’re all thinking about coach and wishing that he gets better. You can tell he’s kind of forcing his way to be around. He wants to be around the team. But you can tell he’s still hurting a bit,” forward Kevin Durant said. “That’s how unselfish he is. He always thinks about the group and I think he should be a little more selfish with him time and his body, but he wants to be around the group.”
Durant added to the drama after injuring his calf in the opener game against the Blazers.
Golden State pushed the margin to 33 points in the second half. Curry swished a 31-foot 3-pointer that made it 104-77 late in the third quarter and the Blazers couldn’t catch up. —AP