Warriors Ramping Up Focus Level With Recent Game 3 Issues: ‘Take Their Heart'

PORTLAND -- Game 3 is next up for the Warriors and in case they didn't know their Game 3 history, coach Steve Kerr and his staff offered a reminder.

Game 3s have not been their friend, even when they're up 2-0, as they will be Saturday when they face the Trail Blazers at Moda Center for Game 3 of their first-round playoff series.

"Coach Kerr has made us fully aware of our Game 3 record in the past three years," Matt Barnes said after practice Friday. "So . . . we don't want to have any slippage. We want to come in and focus and, really, try to take their heart."

As much success as the Warriors have had over the past two postseasons, winning the NBA Finals in 2015 and losing it in seven games last June, they have been sub-mediocre in Game 3 situations.

The Warriors were 0-of-4 in Game 3s last postseason, 2-2 the year before.

They were 4-0 in Game 2s last postseason, 2-2 the year before.

So the Warriors will be on guard when they take the floor Saturday.

"We've just got to know that going home, they're going to be locked in," Draymond Green said. "They'll have a great focus level. They'll be more confident. I know one thing for them is to try and get their role players going; role players are usually more comfortable at home.

"So we've got to take all that into account and just make sure we're ready out of the gate. Come with the right intensity level, the right focus level that it takes to go on the road and win a playoff game."

Three of the Warriors' Game 3 losses last season came after they'd won the first two games at Oracle Arena. With 2-0 series leads, they took losses in Game 3 at Houston in the first round, at Portland in the Western Conference semifinals and at Cleveland in the NBA Finals.

The fourth Game 3 loss, at Oklahoma City in the conference finals, put the Warriors down 2-1. They also lost Game 4 before coming back to take the next three games and the series.

"I know how this stuff works," Kerr said. "You go up 2-0, everyone says the series is over, right? Then you go to the other team's gym and they win one game and, all of sudden, ‘Oh my God, it's a series.' As if that's like a revelation. ‘Oh, wait, we thought it was going to be a sweep.'

"We've just won two home games. That's all we did."

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