Though the Golden State Warriors have won all three games of the Western Conference finals thus far against Portland, the series is taking its toll on both teams.
May 18, 2019; Portland, OR, USA; Golden State Warriors guard Klay Thompson (11) shoots over Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) in the first half of game three of the Western conference finals of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports
On Sunday, Trail Blazers star guard Damian Lillard confirmed that he is playing with separated ribs on his left side, an injury that he says likely occurred in the third quarter in Game 2 of the Western Conference finals when Warriors big man Kevon Looney fell on him during a scramble for the ball.
“There’s nothing you can really do about it,” Lillard told reporters. “When I get winded, it’s a little harder to breathe.”
Lillard wore padding in Game 3 on Saturday but was just 5-of-18 shooting while scoring 19 points. Portland lost the game 110-99 as Golden State took a 3-0 series lead.
Warriors forward Andre Iguodala is questionable for Monday’s Game 4 at Portland because of tightness in his left calf. The team said an MRI exam came back clean, but the Warriors likely will be cautious with the 35-year-old veteran.
Iguodala left in the third quarter Saturday, playing just 18 minutes and contributing two points, five rebounds and two assists.
—The New Orleans Pelicans hired Brooklyn Nets assistant general manager Trajan Langdon as their general manager.
The 43-year-old Langdon, who joined the Nets in March 2016, will work alongside executive vice president of basketball operations David Griffin.
The hiring of the former Duke standout and 1999 first-round NBA draft pick caps a week in which the Pelicans won the NBA draft lottery and the opportunity to add consensus No. 1 pick Zion Williamson, also of Duke.
—The Cleveland Cavaliers have hired J.B. Bickerstaff as associate head coach, ESPN reported.
The former Memphis Grizzlies head coach had talked with multiple teams about lead assistant roles, but Cavaliers general manager Koby Altman convinced him to help former Michigan coach John Beilein as the latter transitions to the NBA bench, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
Bickerstaff, 40, was 48-97 in two seasons with the Grizzlies. He also served as interim head coach of the Houston Rockets in 2015-16, posting a 37-34 record after replacing Kevin McHale. Bickerstaff has also been an assistant coach with the Charlotte Bobcats (2004-07), Minnesota Timberwolves (2007-11), Rockets (2011-15) and Grizzlies (2016-17).
—Field Level Media