Green attacked the defensive end with unreal vigor, especially late in the game. He blocked two dunk attempts, one breaking up a 2-on-1 and the other the result of a dead sprint across the court. The second one, a fourth-quarter swat of an attempted Damian Lillard tomahawk, sent Lillard tumbling to the floor, his highlight upended. Although it’s too late for sending Defensive Player of the Year clips, Green did much to showcase why many consider him the sport’s best defensive player. The Blazers have not been given much of a shot in this series, which is one reason Lillard’s (cajoled) Portland-in-six prediction made waves. To Lillard, it doesn’t matter if few think Portland http://www.officialrockieshop.com/authe ... ersey.html is near Golden State’s level. Well, it matters, but it won’t stop the Blazers from playing with immense confidence. The Golden State Warriors pulled past the Portland Trail Blazers to win Game 1 121-109 after Draymond Green & Co. finally doused Portland’s offensive fireworks. Green was magnificent, claiming 19 points, 12 boards, nine assists, three steals and five blocks -- a line that might actually undersell his impact Sunday afternoon. Lillard and backcourt mate CJ McCollum gave the Warriors a rude, early reminder that Golden State is indeed facing a force to be reckoned with. The two combined for 48 points in the first half, the most they've ever scored together. McCollum was especially impressive, as he hit shots from a variety of angles and against converging closeouts. Meanwhile, the Warriors weren’t exactly sharp. Klay Thompson started somnambulistically, both offensively and defensively. Although Kevin Durant looked wholly healthy coming off his return to action, he lessened his aggression in the second quarter. Stephen Curry was 1-of-5 from beyond the arc in the first and missed some open looks. Draymond GreenWarriors PF Draymond Green Keenan Robinson Authentic Jersey showed why he's a favorite for the Defensive Player of the Year award yet again by holding the Trail Blazers to 11 points on 16 shots in his primary coverage. And yet, the game was tied at the half. Perhaps, for all Lillard’s confidence and for all his and McCollum’s brilliance, this speaks to the gap between teams like nothing else does. Blazers not named CJ or Dame went 3-for-16 with five turnovers in the first half. The teams continued to exchange blows into the third quarter, when Curry awoke and JaVale McGee changed the game. Curry’s run of drives and jumpers was perhaps expected; McGee’s galvanized third quarter was a less expected development, as many commentators throughout the season asserted that he wouldn’t see the floor come the postseason. The reality is that McGee, for all his pratfalls, changes the game when he’s on. That’s more than you can say for so many bench players. The fourth quarter is when Golden State got its final burst of separation, when it fatally clamped down on Portland’s offense. Green had 10 points, three blocks and two steals in the quarter. The game finished with the Blazers going 4-for-16 against Green as primary defender, according to ESPN Stats & Information. Green further explained how Golden State turned Portland’s water off by saying, “CJ hit tough fadeaways and tough 3s over contested hands. But we knew at some point you have to make them miss. You can do all you want and say, 'Oh, man, I got a great contest, and he hit a tough shot,' but at some point, we have to make them miss.” “It started with the energy of JaVale there in that third quarter,” Green said after the game. “And though they made a run at the end to close it out, our energy transferred over. Then David [West] came in, and he was huge. He was huge on those ball screens. Damian couldn't get downhill anymore, CJ couldn't get downhill anymore, and we were able to get a grip, and then we went on a 15-2 run.” Warriors forward Draymond Green, known Steve McLendon Authentic Jersey for being verbally provocative, had a few verbal confrontations with Trail Blazers guards Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum in Game 1 on Sunday afternoon, and all three players welcome it. "For me, it's just going to make me raise the level of my game because I take [Green's trash talk] as a challenge," Lillard said after his team's 121-109 loss. "I'm going to take exception to it, and I'm going to say something back. That's what it's going to be, as long as that's how he's approaching it -- it's going to be coming right back." It started near the end of the first quarter when Lillard attacked the basket for a dunk attempt and was rejected by Warriors reserve big man JaVale McGee. However, the officials called McGee for a personal foul. "He was saying so much out there that I had a whole lot to say tonight," Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, said of responding to Draymond Green's trash talk on Sunday. Garrett Ellwood/NBAE/Getty Images The Warriors were outraged, believing it was a clean block. As Lillard walked to the free throw line, Green uttered some words, and the two jawed back and forth during the entire free throw trip. "I think having a guy like that on the floor, I think it raises the level of the game, because I don't even talk trash, and he was saying so much out there that I had a whole lot to say tonight," Lillard said of Green. In the fourth http://www.officialnikejetshop.com/ryan ... -c-46.html quarter, Green dribbled the ball the length of the court and elevated for a dunk. However, he muffed the jam and the ball sailed out of bounds. "Yeah, he told me I need to do more calf raises," Green revealed. "No, we were talking back and forth the entire game, but that's just a part of the game. It's mutual respect both ways. We've played those guys last year in the series, but quite a bit over the last four or five years where you kind of know them, they know you. "It's not like there's anyone out there being disrespectful towards another. It's fun. You hit a shot, he's talking to us. I hit a shot, I'm talking to them. I miss the dunk, he's telling me I need to do calf raises." The first-round playoff matchup between the Golden State Warriors and Portland Trail Blazers is almost certain to be a high-scoring series, and it also appears it will be a trash-talking series. Unless Jusuf Nurkic returns, the Blazers are in trouble. They might be confident, but they’re undermanned and facing a defensive player whose brashness is matched only by the extreme skill with which he dispatches the boldest scorers. Green’s brilliance put the Warriors up as they started the fourth with their West-Thompson lineup, which allowed Durant to salt the game away with midrange jumpers over mismatches . That’s a quote aspiring defensive superstars can take to heart http://www.nygiantsofficialstore.com/ke ... -c-51.html. Yes, you theoretically can be content with teams taking certain kinds of contested shots. Yes, it’s a make-or-miss league, as the cliché goes, and some lucky shots can defeat good defense. But great defense, Draymond-level defense, is not so incidental to the outcome. By force of will, he chases players into shots that evoke a quarterback throwing the ball away to avoid some pain. By reading the situation, he appears seemingly out of nowhere and kills the prettiest of plays.
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