1. A classic third quarter run for the Dubs
Golden State’s prowess in the third quarter has been well-documented since the beginning of its dynasty. Opponents know such a run is coming, but there’s little they can do to stop it. So when the Warriors opened up the second half down double-digits, the situation wasn’t as dire as one would think.
The Warriors shot 13-for-23 in a quarter that also included six 3-point makes. It looked just like the old days, where the ball was flying around the perimeter without much of a conscience to the tune of 10 assists. Thompson exploded for 13 in the frame, while Curry wasn’t too far behind with 11.
All in all, Golden State outscored the Blazers 39-24 to tie up the game heading into the fourth quarter. It was a vintage performance from a team that’s continued to make first-halves irrelevant no matter the circumstance. Whether up three or down 15, those 12 minutes right after halftime have become the tipping point for so many of the Dubs’ signature victories over the years.
No one can quite put a finger on what exactly makes the Warriors so dominant in the third quarter — not even the players themselves. Ironically enough, these playoffs had the Dubs at a -10 in third quarters prior to Game 2, a far cry from their 139-point advantage during the entirety of the 2018 postseason.
The Blazers did just about everything right in the first half. Golden State had 10 turnovers and shot just 3-of-13 from distance while Portland was 11-of-22 from beyond the arc. None of that came to matter. It rarely does. The Warriors simply have another gear no other team can reach, one that’s evidently flipped on every time they head to the locker room and manifests itself in the most deflating of ways for the opposition.