Path Blazers seize a commanding 2-Zero collection lead over Thunder

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PORTLAND, Ore. — CJ McCollum had 33 factors, Damian Lillard added 29 and the Portland Path Blazers took a 2-Zero lead of their first-round playoff collection towards the Oklahoma Metropolis Thunder with a 114-94 victory on Tuesday night time.

Maurice Harkless added 14 factors and 9 rebounds for the third-seeded Blazers, who opened a playoff collection with two wins for the primary time because the 2014 playoffs, after they beat Houston in six video games.

The collection shifts to Oklahoma Metropolis for Sport Three on Friday.

“Now we’ve obtained to go on the street and get gritty,” McCollum mentioned.

Russell Westbrook, who had his ninth profession postseason triple-double in Oklahoma Metropolis’s Sport 1 loss, completed with 14 factors, eight rebounds and 11 assists. He was pulled with 3:31 with most of his fellow starters after Portland constructed a 112-91 lead.

Paul George had 27 factors regardless of lingering questions on his proper shoulder, which was lined with kinesiology tape. George insisted the shoulder, which saved him out of the Thunders’ regular-season finale, was nice at follow on Monday though it was wrapped in
ice.

The Blazers have been up 91-75 after three and simply protected their lead within the fourth, with Seth Curry’s 3-pointer pushing the result in 100-83.

Portland’s victory in Sport 1 snapped a 10-game postseason dropping streak that included four-game sweeps previously two seasons — first by the Warriors after which final 12 months by the Pelicans. Lillard had 30 factors within the 104-99 win on Sunday.

Oklahoma Metropolis beat the Blazers in all 4 conferences in the course of the common season. The Thunder have been to the playoffs for eight of the final 9 seasons, however they haven’t gotten previous the opening spherical for the previous two.

Oklahoma Metropolis began with much more vitality than in Sport 1, when it fell behind by 19 factors within the first half. When Westbrook hit a 3-pointer within the first quarter, he pounded his chest and the Thunder went on to steer 31-26 on the finish of the quarter.

Lillard hit a 3-pointer and was fouled to shut the Blazers inside 48-43. However the sport started to get heated, with Lillard and Westbrook entering into it when Lillard tried to strip the ball. The officers reviewed it for a “hostile act” however concluded there have been no fouls on the play. There was rigidity the remainder of the best way, and frequent jawing back-and-forth.

Westbrook collected three fouls within the half and headed early to the bench, as did Portland’s Enes Kanter, who was so profitable towards the Thunder in Sport 1. Collectively the groups had 29 fouls within the opening half.

McCollum nailed a 3-pointer off a move from Lillard on the buzzer to tie the sport at 54 going into the break. Then McCollum turned to the gang and easily nodded.

Portland pulled in entrance on McCollum’s jumper and prolonged it to 69-63 with Lillard’s lengthy 3-pointer. Curry had back-to-back 3s to place the Blazers up 85-73 late within the third.

The Blazers’ hopes for postseason success appeared to take a blow final month when heart Jusuf Nurkic was misplaced for the season with a damaged left leg. Nurkic was averaging 15.6 factors and 10.four rebounds when he sustained the grotesque harm throughout a sport towards the Nets.

Kanter, signed simply earlier than the All-Star break after he was waived by the New York Knicks, has began in Nurkic’s place. Kanter had 20 factors and 18 rebounds in Sport 1 however completed with six factors and 5 rebounds on Tuesday.

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