Durant optimistic of playing in Warriors' Game 3 at Portland

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Many thought that this could be the end for the Golden State Warriors' winning streak as they were coming into the game vulnerable and with a diminished team. He, Steph Curry and Klay Thompson average 20-plus points per game for the league's No. 1 regular-season scoring offense. It didn't happen Sunday as the Warriors posted a 121-109 victory to open their best-of-seven playoff series.

The game was won on the Warriors' defensive end, where the Trail Blazers were harassed into 33.3 per cent shooting overall and a 7-for-34 night on three-pointers. Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard, center, drives past Golden State Warriors' JaVale McGee (1) during the first half in Game 2 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series Wednesday, April 19, 2017, in Oakland, Ca. Durant injured his calf during the Warriors' game one win April 16.

The first-year Warrior sat out 19 straight games late in the season with a sprained left knee. It seemed like a odd comment, given Golden State's defensive performance that preceded it.

JaVale McGee said they miss not having Durant in the lineup but they also know how to adjust when he is not there. How many teams can say they'll be just fine without someone as talented as Durant playing?

"I think to beat the Warriors, we're going to have to maybe make that extra pass more often and be able to depend on guys more often to allow them to have that type of success so we can actually beat them", Lillard said.

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On Sunday, Lillard and McCollum cut into the lane, finished with acrobatics, fired away from long-range, combined for 54 shot attempts, and basically were a two-man gang that kept the game tied through three quarters. The Warriors did not let Lillard or CJ McCollum get clean looks. "We've got to be ready, to be prepared, for their punch", Washington's Otto Porter said of bracing for a desperate Atlanta approach to Game 2.

Durant has managed 25.1 points, 8.3 rebounds and 4.9 assists in his first season in the Bay Area after choosing the Warriors in free agency.

In the fourth stanza, the Warriors increased their lead to more than 30 points in the fourth quarter and cruised to the win. In Game 1, Lillard and McCollum had the best combined half of their careers.

Guard Shaun Livingston also is out with a sprained right index finger and bruised hand, while forward Matt Barnes is still working back from a sprained right ankle and foot. In the long term, it's better for him to take all the time he needs to get back on the court. "I hate being hurt", Durant said.

Game three is in Atlanta on Saturday as the Wizards have won five in a row over the Hawks.

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