Tuesday, 23 July, 2019

Portland wins Game 1 against the Thunder 104-99

Thunder are the only lower seed favored to win in the first round Thunder are the only lower seed favored to win in the first round
Shannon Reynolds | 15 April, 2019, 23:48

CJ McCollum added 24 points and Enes Kanter contributed 20 points and 18 rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who led by as many as 19 points in the first half.

However, the team probably approached this 2019 NBA Playoffs series with the Portland Trail Blazers with a bit of confidence. Oklahoma City couldn't get closer and Lillard hit a 30-footer to extend the Blazers' lead to 89-81 with 6:38 left. 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.

Oklahoma City beat the Blazers in all four meetings this season, including a heated 129-121 overtime victory on March 7.

This one could really go either way, so while I'm tempted to take the Thunder, I got this series going to seven games, so I'm taking the Trailblazers to secure home-court advantage with another narrow win and cover here behind another big game from Lillard.

George missed the Thunder' regular-season finale Wednesday at Milwaukee because of the nagging injury, which also kept him out of games on February 28, March 2 and March 3. For the game, he made four of 15 3-point attempts.

Westbook's layup got the Thunder within 64-60, but he collected his fourth foul late in the third and went to the bench. Thunder center Steven Adams had 17 points and nine rebounds, but he scored just six points in the final three quarters.

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Trail Blazers: Blazers coach Terry Stotts concluded his pregame talk with the media by saying. Portland had won the last eight regular-season games at the Moda Center.

Coming into this regular season, the Blazers had a lot of question marks.

Kanter, who began the season on the Knicks, said he appreciated the opportunity to compete in a playoff game. "Obviously, his rebounding and scoring".

"Any time you're going up against a team you played for, in the most important series of the year, you're going to want to play well", Lillard said.

The team certainly struggled to shoot on Sunday but it seems reasonable to think those struggles will not continue in Game 2 on Tuesday night in Portland.

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