The Portland Trail Blazers had already left the court, but many fans in yellow celebrated as the Golden State Warriors beat the Blazers 128-103 in Portland to advance to the conference semifinals. Stephen Curry scored 37 points and energized his team, which played without coach Steve Kerr for the second straight game due to health issues. Assistant coach Mike Brown served as head coach in Kerr’s absence. The Warriors will face either the Utah Jazz or the Los Angeles Clippers, who are tied at 2 in their series. The sweep was sweet for Golden State, even on Portland’s home court. Fans chanted “Warriors! Warriors!” as they celebrated the win.
The Warriors welcomed back Kevin Durant, who had been out since Game 1 due to a strained left calf. He started and the Warriors quickly took a commanding 72-48 lead by halftime. In the second half, they extended their lead to 33 points. Stephen Curry hit a 31-foot three-pointer to make it 104-77 in the third quarter, and the Blazers couldn’t catch up. Durant finished with 10 points in just under 21 minutes. All of the Warriors starters scored in double figures. Damian Lillard scored 34 points for the Blazers, who were making their fourth straight playoff appearance. The crowd at the Moda Center gave Lillard a standing ovation when he came out with 6:12 to play. Last season, the Warriors defeated the Blazers 4-1 in the second round. Curry missed the first three games of that series with a sprained MCL in his right knee, but returned in time to take the series back to Golden State and advance. The Warriors, who won