Paul Allen is smiling right now. All’s right with the world. The Blazers have done it again. They thrashed the Thunder 114-94. For the first time since the 2000 opening series against the Minnesota Timberwolves, the Blazers stand at 2-0, winning both games 1 and 2 on their homecourt. Better yet, the Blazers are thus far the only team to be 2-0 in the playoffs this postseason.
Game 2 started out in ugly fashion. The Trail Blazers were missing shots, turning the ball over, making mistakes. There were eight lead changes and 4 ties. The Moda Center was quieting down. The Thunder seemed in control. They led most of the 1sr qtr, finishing it with a 5 point lead, 31-26.
The second quarter was a frustrating cluster of fouls and physical play that saw Oklahoma City lead grow to 10. The Blazers couldn’t get a call. The Blazers couldn’t get a shot. For eighteen minutes it appeared that the Thunder were in the driver seat and the series was headed for a road trip to Oklahoma tied 1-1. Then the Blazers got angry. The Blazers became the storm. The Blazers put in Meyers Leonard? That’s right. Meyers, with Kanter hurt (not seriously no worries) and in foul trouble, came into defend Adams. It worked. Meyers with buckets. Meyers with defensive plays. Meyers with screens. Meyers. Meyers. Meyers.Hammer time. The Blazers rolled back, CJ McCollum tying the game 54-54 at halftime with a buzzer beating 3.
The Blazers came out like a freight train in the third. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum couldn’t miss if they wanted to. A three here. A three there. A layup. A jumper. Net. Net. Net. Net. Nothing but net. There was only one lead change, Portland bulldozing ahead. They outscored the Thunder by 16 in the quarter. They took charge. The chewed up Paul George and Westbrook and spit them out.
The 4th quarter was a reiteration. The Thunder tried in vain to fight back, but they had little in them, and Portland had an answer. Always an answer. The Blazers pummeled the Thunder, unrelenting till a few minutes left, when both sides emptied their benches. The Thunder had flinched again. As the final seconds ticked down and the game clock expired, if the roaring crowd and confetti weren’t telling enough, Paul George’s face was. He was lost in astonishment and bewilderment. His teammate Russell Westbrook was already gone, probably waiting on the team bus, wanting out of the Moda Center. Wanting out of Portland. Well don’t let the door hit you.
Portland delivered the Thunder their 11th straight road loss and an 0-2 deficit in the first round series. Maybe after beating Portland 4-0 in the regular season, they thought that they had it easy. Well sorry to be the bearer of bad news Oklahoma City, when it rains it pours, and Like Damian Lillard said, we feel the rain here. Others just get wet. The Thunder got soaked. We love it. It’s a northwest thing.