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Golden State Can Eliminate Portland With Game 5 Victory

The best of seven NBA Western Conference semifinals series between the Portland Trail Blazers and Golden State Warriors continues on Wednesday, with Game 5 from the Oracle Arena in northern California. The current line has Golden State favored by 12.5 points with the over/under on 216.5.

Stephen Curry returned for Golden State in Game 4 after missing each of the first three games of the series. He needed most of three quarters to shake off the cobwebs before he showed why he was just named the NBA MVP for the second consecutive season.

Curry scored 17 points, an NBA record, during overtime in Game 4 to give the Warriors a 3-1 series lead and put the Trail Blazers on the brink of elimination. Golden State can reach the Western Conference finals with a win on Wednesday.

Portland was once again led by the strong play of Damian Lillard. The All-Star point guard for the Trail Blazers scored 36 points and handed out 10 assists. Lillard still is not ready to concede this series to Golden State. He feels his team has had good opportunities to win in each of the past three games.

Also stepping up for Portland this series has been C.J. McCollum who scored 24 points in Monday’s losing effort and Al-Farouq Aminu who scored 18 points and grabbed 13 rebounds.

Curry’s playing time in Game 4 was supposed to be limited to 25 minutes, but Shaun Livingston was ejected late in the first half and Curry was faced to play more. The league MVP ended with 40 points, while grabbing 9 rebounds and handing out 8 assists.

Golden State forward Draymond Green blocked seven shots, a career high, and scored 21 points on Monday. Green also grabbed 9 rebounds handed out 5 assists and had 4 steals.

Portland center Mason Plumlee had his fourth double-double of this postseason scoring 12 points and hauling down 15 rebounds in his team’s loss.

Golden State is the second team in consecutive seasons to records 80 wins or more during the regular and postseason, with its win in Game 4. The Chicago Bulls did that on two occasions during the 1990s.

Prediction: Golden State with or without Stephen Curry is too strong for Portland when playing at home. Lean toward the Warriors in this even with such a big spread.

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