Sport

Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers take Game 1 vs the Thunder

Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers take Game 1 vs the Thunder”

Paul George collected 26 points and 10 rebounds and Russell Westbrook compiled 24 points, 10 rebounds and 10 assists for the Thunder, who made only 5 of 33 3-point attempts in the game.

Damian Lillard led the way for Portland with 30 points while C.J. McCollum added 24 points.

Thunder: While the Thunder swept the Blazers 4-0 during the regular season, Portland swept them in four games the season before. Steven Adams had 13 points for the Thunder, who were 2 for 18 from 3-point range in the first half.

Kanter was definitely key to Portland's game one victory, and he could very well be a huge part of their playoff run moving forward.

As a team, the Thunder shot just 39 percent from the field and a miserly five of 33 from the 3-point line, but they held the Trailblazers to just 15 points in the second quarter to stay in the contest, only to fall short as they needed more production from George who missed 16 of his 24 shots as he played through an injury.

The Thunder have been to the playoffs for eight of the last nine seasons, but they haven't gotten past the opening round for the past two. That's why it was concerning to hear George talk after the game about the health of his shoulder and how Game 1 was the first time he'd shot in days after not being able to lift his shoulder four days prior. The Thunder offense continued struggling despite the defensive resurgence, hitting just 8-of-23 from the floor in the frame.

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The re-aggravation of a right shoulder injury from the end of February sidelined George in the Thunder's 127-116 win at Milwaukee Wednesday.

OKC scored six straight points, the last two on a left-handed layup by Westbrook to cut it to 91-87 with 3:51 left.

Portland dominated the early going, jumping out to a 38-23 lead late in the first quarter.

In just his ninth start with the Blazers, Kanter became just the third player in team history with at least 20 points and 18 rebounds in playoff game. The Thunder did not make any of their six 3-point attempts, while Portland was 7 of 10. The Blazers went into the fourth quarter with a 76-69 lead.

Portland takes a 1-0 lead in the first round series with the victory.

Lillard wasted no time to get in the scoring column in this one, pulling up from the Moda Center logo for his first bucket of the game.



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