Lillard, Kanter power Blazers over Thunder in Game 1
15 Avril, 2019, 12:23 | Auteur: Adelaide Bullion
The problem started and ended with George's sore shoulders, which carried not just the weight of Game 1's result but days of non-use.
Kanter said later that he realized that Adams was just locked in prior to the game starting after not acknowledging him. The Blazers - who made 12 of 20 shots from the field, 7 of 10 from 3-point range - took a 39-25 advantage into the second quarter. Adams led the way with 13 points in the first half, Westbrook added 10-8-7, and the Thunder were within striking distance despite George's 9 points on 3-of-14 from the field.
George hit the game-winning 3-pointer against Houston on the next-to-last game of the regular season Tuesday, but he aggravated a previous injury during the game and did not play in the regular-season finale Wednesday at Milwaukee.
The Thunder have been to the playoffs every season since moving from Seattle in 2008, but they haven't gotten past the opening round for the past two seasons. Lillard went on to lead the team with 30 points, CJ McCollum added 24 points on nine of 24 shooting while Enes Kanter was a pest on the offensive glass as he racked up 20 points with 18 rebounds and two blocks.
Kanter, signed just before the All-Star break after he was waived by the New York Knick, has started in Nurkic's place.
The Thunder rallied from a 19-point deficit in the first half to trail by just 54-48 at the break.
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There was simmering tension between the teams.
Westbook's layup got the Thunder within 64-60, but he collected his fourth foul late in the third and went to the bench.
The teams went back and forth in the third quarter - Portland pushing their lead back to double-digits, the Thunder responding with a charge to draw closer.
With Kanter's play through three quarters and Lillard's play in crunch time, it proved to be too much for the Thunder to handle. I thought his conditioning was really good.
While he played at an MVP level for most of the season, he struggled down the stretch, likely because of a shoulder injury that he has been dealing with since the end of February.
On Sunday at Toyota Center, the Rockets will host Utah in Game 1 of this first-round series.
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