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Blazers Outlast Thunder 104-99, Take Game 1 in Portland

15 April 2019

The Blazers ended a 10-game playoff losing streak by defeating the Thunder 104-99 Sunday in Game 1, riding the interior dominance of Enes Kanter and strong play of their starting backcourt. Despite the points output, he shot 8-for-24 from the field and 4-for-15 from three-point range - not exactly efficiency at it's finest.

Turkish worldwide Enes Kanter meanwhile reminded his former Thunder team-mates of his talent, posting a double-double of 20 points and 18 rebounds. "... It was so frustrating because I just wanted to go out there and win. They won the first game", Westbrook said. These teams met last season in the West semis, with Houston claiming that series in five games. However, the OKC offense just couldn't capitalize on their opportunities, going 2-of-9 from deep (they shot just 5-of-33 for the game - 15.2%) with a few chances to tie it down the stretch.

CJ McCollum added 24 points for the Blazers, while Russell Westbrook had 24 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his ninth career postseason triple-double for the Thunder.

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Damian Lillard of the Blazers reacts after making a shot in a National Basketball Association playoff game against Oklahoma City. The Blazers went into the fourth quarter with a 76-69 lead.

After the game, Lillard called Kanter "the MVP of the Game".

"Any time you're going up against a team you played for, in the most important series of the year, you're going to want to play well", Lillard said.

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"We've gone two playoffs without winning a game so obviously it's a good feeling to get back on the winning side, but it's only one game".

"I don't think it was really anything we did", Blazers guard Damian Lillard said.

Also, Kyrie Irving scored 20 points as the Boston Celtics shrugged off the injury absence of Marcus Smart to defeat the Indiana Pacers 84-74. The Trailblazers will be delighted with how they've started the series especially after getting swept by the Thunder in the regular season.

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However the fourth-seeded Celtics had too much firepower for the fifth-ranked Pacers on their way to a deserved victory.

Blazers Outlast Thunder 104-99, Take Game 1 in Portland