The Portland Trail Blazers came to Oklahoma City for game 3. They got a taste, to remind themselves what the Thunder were like on their home court. The stuck their foot in the water. It was cold. They took their time getting in. OKC got the better of them while they acclimated. The Blazers were fully adjusted by game 4 on Sunday Evening. They beat the Thunder handily 111-98.
Portland controlled the game pretty much from the get go. OKC made some runs early to take a brief lead, but the Blazers had answers. With Damian Lillard a little off to start, Aminu stepped in. Kanter got it going. McCollum was on key. The Bench showed up, Collins having perhaps his best game of the series.
The Blazers won and led after all four quarters. They played inspired defense, they passed the ball, they went after offensive rebounds. When OKC made their runs, Portland stayed calm. They were collected. There was never doubt.
Damian Lillard and CJ Mccollum had their best game in some time together. Maybe it was their best. They combined for 51 points. They were both on. Both dialed in. No fragment of the players from last year’s playoffs remained. No hesitation. No panic. No timidness. Just fluidity and unison. They wore experience well.
The Blazers outshot the Thunder on every front. They beat them 41.1% to 37.5% from the field, and 42.9% to 37.5% from long distance. Portland won at the free throw line(95.7% to 77.3%) They won on the glass 49-44. It was the third game of series the Blazers held the Thunder under 100 points. They outscored OKC in the paint 36-22.
With the win Portland goes up 3-1 with a chance to close out the series on Thursday back in Rip City in front of the home crowd. The Blazers seem ready to advance. They look and believe like they can go far. The Thunder are a pesky fly to be swatted away.
Before the season started all the pundits predicted OKC would be the one up 3-1 right now, if not have had already swept the Blazers. No brooms for the Thunder. No they are going to need a mop because they are getting drenched in the northwest division series. The Blazers have proven to be the storm. Not just talk. Formidable clouds. Gail force winds. A force to be reckoned with.
The Thunder are like a nearly beaten character in Mortal Kombat, fumbling in place, FINISH HIM across the screen in giant letters. I know that dates me. Good stuff. Point is time for the fatality Blazers. Hey Thunder….COME HERE!!!