Russell Westbrook posted a triple double, but it wasn’t enough as the Trail Blazers managed to fend off the Thunder at home in Game 1. Portland finally won a playoff game after being swept the previous two years. Tonight they’ll try and take a controlling 2-0 series lead going into Oklahoma City. Can Lillard will his team to another solid win?
 Oklahoma City Thunder (0-1) @  Portland Trail Blazers (1-0)
Portland was dominant in the first quarter of Game 1 and held that lead for nearly the rest of the game. Enes Kanter shined in the first game, scoring 20 points and grabbing 18 rebounds as he filled in for the injured Jusuf Nurkic. For the Thunder, Westbrook finished with 24 points, 10 rebounds, and 10 assists in a losing effort. Unlike Game 1, the Blazers find themselves point favorites going into Game 2.
The Thunder played alright defensively in Game 1, but they really struggled on the offensive end. George and Schroder combined for 37 points, but they shot 13-41 to get there. Add in Jerami Grant who shot 2-8, and that accounts for more than half the team’s shots. Unfortunately for the Thunder, PG13’s shoulder does not look good. His special shoulder tape is now on both shoulders and his shot efficiency is plummeting. The playoffs give no time to rest and heal, but the Thunder have some excellent role players capable of stepping up with an ailing George.
- 37-93 (39.8%) shooting from the field in Game 1, and 5-33 (15.2%) shooting from downtown.
- Hustle Stats: 18 offensive rebounds, 10 steals, 4 blocks as a team in Game 1.
- Steven Adams played well, ending with 17 points and 9 rebounds. The Thunder came back into the game when Westbrook and Adams repeatedly ran the pick and roll, resulting in easy buckets for the big man.
The Blazers just had a huge load lifted off their shoulders, and now will probably look quite comfortable at home again in Game 2. They ended the playoff win drought, and Enes Kanter proved that he can contribute in games that matter. CJ McCollum was also important, which makes this Blazer squad much scarier when he plays well. Portland will need to focus on their turnovers and keeping the Thunder off the offensive glass if they’ll want to head to OKC with a 2-0 lead.
- 36-86 (41.9%) shooting as a team in Game 1, but 11-25 (44%) from downtown. +18 points just from 3 point range alone.
- Hustle Stats: 13 offensive rebounds, 8 steals, 9 blocks.
- 74 points combined from Kanter, Lillard, and McCollum. The trio should continue to carry the load offensively from Portland, but the biggest pressure will be on Kanter and whether or not he’ll keep producing.
Pick: Portland Trail Blazers -2.0
Portland won the first game by just 5 points, but the game felt like they were in control every step of the way. Paul George looks like a shadow of the MVP performances he put up earlier in the year, and Damian Lillard has seemed to mature into a fine leader at just the right time for the Blazers. They weren’t favored in the series, but now they have momentum going into Game 2. Expect Portland to win tonight.