Damian Lillard, Trail Blazers take Game 1 vs the Thunder

Ross Houston
April 15, 2019

McCollum had 24 points while Lillard had 30, as the Blazers' backcourt continued to be the difference for the team.

Paul George's injury status is day-to-day due to right shoulder soreness, Thunder coach Billy Donovan said after practice Friday.

It was the first post-season meeting between the teams since the Thunder moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City. Oklahoma City couldn't get closer and Lillard hit a 30-footer to extend the Blazers' lead to 89-81 with 6:38 left. Moe Harkless' first-quarter defense on George set the tone for the night, as he blocked two George shots in the opening 55 seconds and three in the first quarter. 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. CJ McCollum added 24 points. After all, they match up well again them, as evidenced by the fact that they beat them in each of the four regular season meetings.

"He had a huge presence and played a big part in us winning this game".

Battling a right shoulder injury, George struggled for much of the game to find his rhythm.

Portland jumped out to a 26-15 lead early on McCollum's third 3-pointer.

Kanter, signed just before the All-Star break after he was waived by the New York Knick, has started in Nurkic's place. Ferguson earned his third foul and headed to the bench. Thunder center Steven Adams had 17 points and nine rebounds, but he scored just six points in the final three quarters. The Blazers went into the fourth quarter with a 76-69 lead. These teams met last season in the West semis, with Houston claiming that series in five games. The Blazers haven't made it out of the first round for the past two seasons.

Kanter, who began the season on the Knicks, said he appreciated the opportunity to compete in a playoff game.

"He gave us a lot of toughness inside", Stotts said. "He maintained a high level of play for a long period of time".

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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