Lillard sparks Portland past Oklahoma City for 3-1 lead

Trail Blazers answer every challenge, take Game 4 from the Thunder

The high-energy point guard made five of his first 11 shots from the field, the last one a 26-foot 3-pointer that gave OKC a 46-39 lead with 2:31 left in the first half.

But it was not enough as the Thunder were knocked out in the first round for the third season in a row.

Trail Blazers: Lillard has had 30-plus points 13 times in the postseason. The game appeared to be in hand with the Thunder holding a commanding lead midway through the fourth, but Oklahoma City's longtime issues showed up at the most inopportune time.

The Thunder will conduct exit interviews in the coming days to wrap up the season. The Thunder was within two after the opening quarter and four at the half before things got away from them a bit in the third quarter. After starting the game 3-of-4 from the floor midway through the first, Westbrook missed a handful of point-blank attempts at the rim, finishing the half with yet another inefficient 5-of-15 performance. Lillard also pulled down seven rebounds and dished out six assists to put his finishing touches on a hardly contested, bitter series. In this series, the Thunder are the ones down 3-1, and they will need a comeback like that to continue their postseason. The Thunder is 7 in assists with 22.3 per game. Harkless fouled Paul George shooting a 3-pointer, but was visibly frustrated with the call, leading to the technical. George was 6 of 6 before missing, staking the Thunder to a 37-29 advantage after one quarter. The Thunder star finished a game to forget with 14 points on 5-of-21 shooting. The Thunder has to get better production from Steven Adams and Westbrook for them to have a chance to extend the series.

Lillard and Portland will now move on to face the victor of the Denver-San Antonio series in the next stage of the NBA Playoffs.

McCollum tied it at 113-113 on a jumper with 57.1 seconds left, but George pushed Oklahoma City back ahead 115-113 with a basket with 39.4 seconds to go.

Portland used a 12-2 run to go in front 84-75. The lead didn't drop below seven after that.

A three-pointer by Schroder cut Portland's lead to 97-87 with 3:35 remaining, but Portland maintained control. It was, as Damian Lillard said, all business from start to finish.

The Blazers then let the Thunder have it on social media. Stotts and Lillard made sure the Blazers weren't going to get caught up in any shenanigans Sunday night. Westbrook hit a 3-pointer to extend the lead while Lillard took a break on the bench.

Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook, ever the agitator, mocked Portland's Damian Lillard with his now-infamous rocking the baby pose.



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