TUALATIN, OR (KPTV) – It was déjà vu all over again for the Trail Blazers Saturday night in Game 3 as Portland watched another nearly 20-point lead evaporate in the third quarter against the Golden State Warriors.
Golden State went on to clinch Game 3 of the series 110-99.
It was a working Sunday as the Blazers got back to business at their practice facility in Tualatin.
In a series that could very well be 2-1 or 1-2, the reality is the Blazers are down 0-3, a spot no team in NBA history has ever rebounded from. On the other sideline stands a historic team that has won three of the last four Larry O’Brien trophies. It’s a season on the brink of extinction.
“Obviously, you never know when the first time is going to happen,” said Blazers guard Damian Lillard. “We could be the first team to do it.”
A sweep is beyond reasoning for these Blazers.
“Have pride. Simple as that. We could easily just say well, ‘We’re down 0-3, no one else has ever done it, why not just get to the summer?’ But that’s not who we are,” said center Meyers Leonard.
Mentally, these Blazers will be prepared to extend their season Monday night in Game 4, but where are they at physically?
Lillard confirms he has separated ribs on his left side from diving after a loose ball and having the Warriors’ Kevon Looney crash on top of him in Game 2.
“Nothing you can really do about it,” he said.
In true Lillard fashion, excuses aren’t an option, and losing Monday night isn’t either.
“I don’t think it’s something that’s affecting my game. It’s there but it’s not something that’s affecting anything that I’m doing. Obviously, you feel it but that’s it,” Lillard said.
Also in true Dame style, he gets this city, reaching out to Friday’s hero at Parkrose, Keanon Lowe, and offering Game 3 tickets to the Jesuit High and man of Oregon after his courageous act of bravery in bringing down a student with a gun.
“A bunch of people’s lives are at risk, a lot of students in the classroom, including his, and in that situation, a lot of us will freeze up or back out and not know what to do. But for him to take that type of stand and to go and tackle the kid and protect all those people and himself, you know, I think that’s a real hero move,” Lillard said.
And as a bright side to Sunday morning’s work, team video coordinator and player development coach Jon Yim was at back at practice to lift their spirits from his wheelchair after being involved in a serious car accident after the Oklahoma City series.
“It’s good to see him back out there again and obviously what he’s gone through is tough,” said guard CJ McCollum.
Blazers coach Terry Stotts said, “It’s good to see him more than anything else. He’s been at the last couple coaches’ meetings, his sister lets him out for an hour or so… there’s a rumor he might even be at the game tomorrow.”
The Blazers need a win Monday to have one more “Bow Tie Wednesday” for Game 5 back in Oakland.
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