Blazers go up 2-0 against the Thunder with 114-94 win

Paola Ditto
Aprile 17, 2019

Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers looks on against the Oklahoma City Thunder during Game Two of Round One of the 2019 NBA Playoffs on April 16, 2019 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.

In their five previous meetings the Thunder lead the Blazers 4-1 wins and they are 2-1 in Portland.

"But he got upset with me, he should be getting upset with his big".

The sequence summed up a forgettable night for Westbrook, who pledged to play differently in Friday's Game 3, a virtual must-win for the Thunder. He was pulled with 3:31 with most of his fellow starters after Portland built a 112-91 lead.

Westbrook had 14 points on 5-of-20 shooting, nine rebounds, and 11 assists, but his six turnovers and Paul George's five in the game accounted for 11 of the team's 16. George insisted the shoulder, which kept him out of the Thunders' regular-season finale, was fine at practice on Monday (Tuesday, PHL time) even though it was wrapped in ice.

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While Oklahoma City didn't shoot well in Game 1, there is no guarantee that will shoot for Game 2.

The Thunder were hot early and opened a 31-26 lead in the game's opening quarter. Jerami Grant hurriedly rushed to cover for Westbrook and fouled Lillard on the shot, which led to a four-point play for the Blazers. It's partially because he plays for a West coast franchise that's been good enough to make the playoffs every year but once (but hasn't gotten beyond the second round) since it drafted Lillard sixth overall in 2012 out of Weber State, not exactly a program that's considered a college hoops powerhouse. There was tension the rest of the way, and frequent jawing back-and-forth. Together the teams had 29 fouls in the opening half.

Portland closed the half on a 9-2 run to tie the game at 54 thanks to a CJ McCollum 3-pointer at the 1st half buzzer.

McCollum missed 10 games down the stretch with a left knee strain and had only played in two games since returning.

The OKC point guard struggled shooting the ball yet again, going 1-of-6 from deep, as his team shot a horrid 5-of-28 from beyond the arc - a recipe for trouble against a more efficient Blazers team that striped 13-of-32 from distance. Seth Curry had back-to-back 3s to put the Blazers up 85-73 late in the third.

The Blazers' hopes for postseason success appeared to take a blow last month when center Jusuf Nurkic was lost for the season with a broken left leg. Nurkic was averaging 15.6 points and 10.4 rebounds when he sustained the gruesome injury during a game against the Brooklyn Nets.

Kanter, signed just before the All-Star break after he was waived by the New York Knicks, has started in Nurkic's place.

Moments later Adams committed a foul on Trail Blazers' player Al-Farouq Aminu with Lillard going onto exchange some words with Adams about the screen. Fueled by a 37-point third quarter which saw the Blazers shoot 62.5 percent from the floor, Terry Stotts and Billy Donovan emptied their bench in the final minutes of this one-sided matchup. It's the first playoff series between the teams since the Thunder moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City. I was like, 'Let's just stay solid, keep competing, keep playing hard, ' Lillard said.

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