Steph Curry keeps game ball for Steve Kerr after he misses Game 3

Steph Curry keeps game ball for Steve Kerr after he misses Game 3

While head coach Steve Kerr was unable to make Saturday's Game 3 due to an illness, the Warriors went out and took a 3-0 series lead over the Blazers. 

After the game, Steph Curry dedicated the win to Kerr by keeping the game ball for him. 

"Our coach is going through a lot right now physically and he told us this morning this is a situation where we need to rally and go out and win a game for him, but we felt like that," Curry said after the Warriors' 119-113 win. "The way that game had gone on we had to fight and do it for him. 

"The way that he said it was we had to win one for The Gipper, so shout out to coach Kerr." 

Curry led the Warriors with 34 points in Saturday's win. 

Instant Replay: Warriors battle Blazers, take commanding 3-0 series lead

Instant Replay: Warriors battle Blazers, take commanding 3-0 series lead

BOX SCORE

PORTLAND -- Head coach Steve Kerr didn’t show and All-Star forward Kevin Durant didn’t play.

Neither did Shaun Livingston or Matt Barnes.

No matter. Trailing by as much as 17 before a surging Trail Blazers team and a thunderous sellout crowd at Moda Center, the Warriors found their way to a 119-113 victory in Game 3 of their first-round playoff series Saturday night.

The Warriors can close out the series with a win in Game 4 here on Monday night.

With assistant coach Mike Brown serving as acting head coach in the absence of an ill Kerr, five Warriors scored in double figures, led by Stephen Curry’s 34 points. Klay Thompson put in 24, Andre Iguodala 16, JaVale McGee 14 and Pat McCaw 11.

The Warriors overcame a 16-point third-quarter deficit and a 52-42 rebounding disadvantage with a single, searing stretch of defense in the third quarter, when they limited Portland to 30.4-percent shooting.

Guards CJ McCollum, who totaled 32 points, and Damian Lillard, who posted 31, led the Trail Blazers.

STANDOUT PERFORMER

As crucial to the comeback as was the offensive reemergence of Curry and Thompson, nobody did more good things over different portions of the game than did McGee.

McGee’s line: 14 points (6-of-8 shooting from the field, 2-of-2 from the line), four rebounds and one steal. He played 16 minutes and finished a game-high plus-24.

TURNING POINT

Trailing 82-66 after a Lillard finger roll with 6:20 left in the third quarter, the Warriors rumbled back with a 19-1 run, taking an 85-83 lead when McGee slammed through a lob with 2:01 left in the quarter.

The Warriors during that stretch held Portland to 0-of-8 shooting, with three turnovers.

INJURY UPDATE

Warriors: F Matt Barnes (R foot/ankle bone bruise), F Kevin Durant (L calf strain) and G Shaun Livingston (R index finger sprain and hand contusion) were listed as questionable and downgraded to out. F Kevon Looney (L hip strain) is listed as out.

Blazers: G Allen Crabbe (L foot soreness) and G CJ McCollum (R ankle sprain) were listed as probable and upgraded to available. C Jusuf Nurkic (L leg fracture) was listed as doubtful and upgraded to available. C Ed Davis (L shoulder surgery) and C Festus Ezeli (L knee surgery) were listed as out.

WHAT’S NEXT

The teams reconvene Monday night at Moda Center for Game 4. Tipoff is scheduled for 7:30 p.m.

Kerr outlines Warriors strategy for slowing down Lillard and McCollum

Kerr outlines Warriors strategy for slowing down Lillard and McCollum

Programming note: Blazers-Warriors Game 2 coverage starts tonight at 6:30pm with Warriors Pregame Live on NBC Sports Bay Area, and streaming live right here.

OAKLAND -- This time, unlike seven weeks ago, the Warriors say they’ll be ready to roll if Kevin Durant can’t.

At least Stephen Curry believes so.

“Obviously, you want to have everybody healthy and we’ll see how it goes (Wednesday),” Curry said. “But we’ve been in this situation very recently, so I understand it’s next man up and the way that we need to play when certain guys are out. And it all starts defensively. Based on our Game 1 win, we need to pick it up on that end anyway.”

Curry was referring to the Warriors, despite a 121-109 Game 1 victory, being scorched by Portland guards CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard, who combined for 75 points.

Curry opened the game defending McCollum, who scored 27 of his 41 points in the first half.

“Dame and CJ really asserted themselves, really gave them a huge boost,” Curry said. “And I know they’ve talked about getting other guys involved. But our game plan stays the same. We’re just trying to make those two guys work, fly around on the defensive end, contest shots, get rebounds and push the tempo. We feel we can do that regardless of the adjustments they want to make.”

Lillard and McCollum accounted for 48 of Portland’s 56 first-half points, equaling the Warriors total for the first two quarters.

"We talked about it last week, leading up to the series. You can’t get discouraged if they do make tough shots. You just have to continue to keep bodies on them, contest shots, try to stay between them and the basket, shade them to the help side.”

With Portland center Jusuf Nurkic out, the Blazers are dependent on their guards, including backup Allen Crabbe, to generate offense. McCollum and Lillard aside, the Blazers shot 12-of-39 (30.8 percent) from the field.

The Warriors have a strategy to contain Lillard and McCollum, and it goes beyond the defense of Curry and Thompson or any other guard.

“They set a lot of high screens, and screen-and-roll defense is about all five guys. It’s not just the guy on the ball,” coach Steve Kerr said. “It’s the guy who’s guarding the screener, and then it’s everybody else on the weak side. So our bigs have to be really active against these guys.”

After losing five of their first seven games after Durant sustained a knee injury on Feb. 28, the Warriors reeled off a 14-game win streak.

The key to the streak? Team defense.