PORTLAND – The aches and bruises of 97 NBA games have the Warriors longing for a few days of rest and recovery. A win Monday night would grant them more than a week.
That’s the goal for the Warriors as they approach Game 4 of the Western Conference finals against the Portland Trail Blazers. They have a 3-0 lead in the best-of-seven series, and nothing would feel better than a sweep.
[RELATED: How to watch Warriors-Blazers Game 4]
Pregame coverage on NBC Sports Bay Area begins at 4:30 with Warriors Outsiders, followed by Warriors Playoff Central at 5, with tipoff of the ESPN telecast from Moda Center scheduled for 6:10.
The Warriors followed the 82-game regular season with 15 postseason battles – six games against the Clippers, six against the Rockets, three against the Blazers – and there are signs of wear and tear. DeMarcus Cousins and Kevin Durant are injured, and Andre Iguodala limped into the locker room in the third quarter of Game 3 on Saturday.
“It’s very motivating for us, to try and sweep the series and have that time off,” Draymond Green said. “We’re a little banged up. Nine days off would be great for us. It would allow Andre time to heal. Shaun (Livingston) is old. It would give him a week off. But also, it would allow the possibility of Kevin and DeMarcus to get healthy and come back as well.
“It’s very important for us to come out (Monday) with the right mindset. We didn’t do that against the Clippers. We extended the series, and all of a sudden Klay (Thompson) and Steph (Curry) were going into the Houston series questionable because of ankle injuries they suffered in a series that should have been over.”
F Andre Iguodala or Alfonzo McKinnie
G Draymond Green
C Andrew Bogut or Damian Jones
G Klay Thompson
G Stephen Curry
F Al-Farouq Aminu
F Maurice Harkless
C Meyers Leonard
G CJ McCollum
G Damian Lillard
Warriors: F Andre Iguodala (L calf tightness) is listed as questionable. C DeMarcus Cousins (L quadriceps tear) and F Kevin Durant (R calf strain) are listed as out.
Blazers: C Jusuf Nurkic (L leg fracture) is listed as out.
Warriors: If Iguodala sits, expect McKinnie to start at SF. He was solid in Game 3, hitting a couple shots, grabbing nine rebounds and posting a plus-24 over 21 minutes. Thompson also is capable of putting in time at SF, which he normally does when playing alongside reserves Quinn Cook and Livingston . . . Damian Jones was a surprise starter at center in Game 3. Activated May 14 after missing five months with an injury, he was whistled for three fouls in the first three minutes and spent the rest of the game on the bench. Coach Steve Kerr could try that again, but it seems unlikely. That leaves Kevon Looney and Andrew Bogut as possible starters, and Kerr prefers to have Looney coming off the bench . . . The 3-point barrage that seemed inevitable after Game 1 has not materialized. Since going 17-of-33 in Game 1, they are 17-of-55. Curry is 10-of-30, Thompson 5-of-13. Though Portland has patched up its defense, the Warriors also have missed numerous open looks from deep.
Blazers: Lillard is playing through a “separated rib” sustained in Game 2 and clearly is hampered. He’s shooting 32.6 percent from the field and has committed 14 turnovers. If he can’t play at an All-Star level, it’s tough for Portland to succeed . . . The Blazers have faded in the second half of all three games, averaging 42.7 points. Part of the struggle can be attributed to the Warriors hiking their intensity, but it’s also apparent the team is affected by the grueling seven-game series against the Nuggets in the previous round . . . With the Warriors rightfully placing most of their defensive focus on Lillard and McCollum, it has created opportunities for others. It paid off in Game 3, as Leonard -- making his first start this postseason -- scored 16 points. That’s a tradeoff the Warriors will take every time, as they believe the path to victory is through containing the guards, either of which could ring up 40 points . . . Coach Terry Stotts made liberal use of a three-guard lineup, with Seth Curry joining Lillard and McCollum. Why? Because three guards comfortable launching from deep, as is Leonard, it greatly aids floor spacing. Expect to see plenty in Game 4.
Officials: Mike Callahan (crew chief), Jason Phillips, Kevin Scott. Alternate: Sean Wright.