PORTLAND, Ore. -- Throughout their NBA championship runs, the Warriors have displayed the propensity for the dramatic. As of late, they've made a habit of erasing first-half deficits with impressive second-half runs.
Last week, without star forward Kevin Durant in the lineup because of injury, the back-to-back defending champs shaved a seven-point deficit to eliminate the Houston Rockets from the playoffs behind a second-half scoring binge from Stephen Curry. Two days ago, Draymond Green willed Golden State out of an eight-point hole in the final minutes to beat the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals.
The Warriors completed the hat trick in Saturday's 110-99 win over the Blazers, using the third quarter to undo a dreadful first half in Game 3, and proving again that even if they're playing at their worst, they can summon enough magic to win under the most curious circumstances.
"There's no panic," Curry said after his 36-point, six-rebound performance at Moda Center. "In the locker room, people got composure."
While Curry said there was no alarm among his Warriors, perhaps there should have been. Through the first 24 minutes of Saturday's game, Blazers forward Meyers Leonard -- who made his first start of the playoffs -- scored 13 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field, looking like the best player on the floor. Meanwhile, Curry and Klay Thompson combined to shoot 37 percent, as the Blazers took a 66-53 lead into halftime despite Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combining to miss 15 of 20 shot attempts.
After Portland's lead ballooned to 14 in the third quarter, the Warriors responded with a 21-6 run, then outscored their foes to end the game.
Saturday's run was the latest iteration of Golden State's potency in the face of a deficit. The style of the Warriors' monster runs has revolutionized the game. Since Steve Kerr was hired as coach in 2014, Golden State has been among the top five in the NBA in terms of 3-point percentage and pace. In Game 3, the Warriors erased the Blazers' lead in 10 minutes and 6 seconds, then took a three-point lead into the fourth quarter.
"It's such a long game," Kerr said. "There's time for so many swings in the game itself, and especially these days, with so many 3-point shots taken. A lot of possessions. Our guys know that, they've been through it, so when we were down, we knew we could get back into it."
Added Green, who dropped a triple-double: "We went into the half down 13 after I thought they had played an amazing half, and we said, 'Heck, that's a two-minute stretch if we lock in.' I just wanted to try to get a little momentum going into the second half, and we were able to do that."
Golden State has made a habit of such runs. Last week, after facing a seven-point deficit in the fourth quarter of Game 6 against Houston, Curry helped the Warriors outscore the Rockets 36-26 to close the game and the series. Six days later, with the Warriors down eight with 4:23 to go in Game 2 against the Blazers, Green contributed to the Warriors' final 16 points, finishing off Golden State's fourth consecutive playoff win.
"They have a lot of experience," Kerr said. "We've played in a lot of big games. We've been down in many games by a long, big margin. Our guys know that we have an excellent defensive team and we've got some explosive scorers, and so 13 points can be two or three in minutes. That's how we look at it."
For nearly five years, the Warriors have lived life on the edge, and in the pursuit of a three-peat, they'll take a win, no matter how it's earned.