Jordan Crawford added 15 points for New Orleans, which finished 34-48 and out of the playoffs for the second straight season. Lillard told ESPN this week that he believes his team can shock the world and "win the series".
Meyers Leonard closed the gap to 99-95 for the Blazers with a long jumper. He followed with a hook shot to make it 101-100 with 1:28 remaining. We wonder what Lebron James has to say about that...
"Everybody was on the same page".
I just don't think that will be enough for Portland to even win one game. While the 7-0 big from Bosnian and Herzegovina said his condition was improving, the decision on whether he'll be able to suit up and play come Sunday has not yet been decided. Now Rip City anxioulsy waits to see when _ and if _ big man Jusuf Nurkic will return for the playoffs.
Last season with Steph Curry injured, the Warriors eliminated Portland 4-1 in a playoff series.
Terry Stotts likes hiding Lillard on the opposition's least-threatening perimeter player when his point guard would otherwise be put through the ringer defensively.
"Through everything that went on with our team, we're in a position where we can do something special still", he said Thursday as Cleveland prepared to face in in the opening round on Saturday.
You can look at the Al-Farouq Aminu vs. Kevin Durant matchup as the deciding contest. As for the Blazers, the duo of Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum is looking to pull off the biggest first-round upset in recent National Basketball Association history.
Anthony Davis missed the final three games because of a sore left knee, while Cousins missed the final four games because of tendonitis in his right achilles.
No Blazer has a better sense of what it takes to seize the moment in the postseason than CJ McCollum, whose breakout series against the Memphis Grizzlies in 2015 jumpstarted his leap from rotational afterthought to one the league's best shooting guards. The score was tied 53-53 at intermission. That game came against the New Orleans Pelicans on April 10, revealing that he might have a bit of rust to work through when the 2017 National Basketball Association playoffs schedule tips off.
While the Pelicans showed improvement defensively, they still couldn't win consistently on the road.
Portland has not won a game against Golden State all season, losing by an average of 19.5 points. He has been averaging 29.7 points per game on 47 percent from the field and 41 percent from beyond the arc.
FINAL SHOWCASE: With the playoffs looming and minutes limited, Connaughton was also happy for the opportunity on national TV.
When asked whether the Blazers will upset the heavily favored Warriors in six or seven games, the confident 26-year-old predicted the former. And if Nurkic can't go, Vonleh is likely to head into Game 1 as the Blazers starting center. The reason Lillard's mark is so astronomically high is because he has the unique ability to pull up right next to his screening teammate at the 3-point line - instead of in the mid-range - and punish a lax defense with his accuracy from beyond the arc.style="text-align: center;"