A first-round Western Conference playoff series returns to the Pacific Northwest with the hosts trying to close things out. The sixth-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder is on the road as they travel to face the third-seeded Portland Trail Blazers in Game 5 of their best of seven set Tuesday night. Portland took the first two games of the series at home, prevailing 104-99 in Game 1 and following that up with a 114-94 victory in Game 2. Oklahoma City got on the board by taking Game 3 at home 120-108 but the Trail Blazers claimed Game 4 111-98 on the road Sunday to take a 3-1 series lead. The Thunder owns a 120-116 advantage in the all-time regular season series and swept the four games between the teams this season. In the postseason, the teams have each won two previous series though the Trail Blazers own an 11-9 edge in head to head playoff victories.
Oklahoma City Thunder Hoping to Force Game 6
Oklahoma City had a chance to square the series at home after taking Game 3 but couldn’t get the job down. The Thunder now finds themselves in the dire predicament of knowing a loss in their next three potential games would end their season. Oklahoma City has to dig down and find the momentum that carried them to four straight regular season wins over Portland, including a pair in this building. 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. A 21-6 run in the third quarter turned a 58-54 deficit into a 79-60 hole: Oklahoma City didn’t get closer than seven with 1:31 to play in the game. The Thunder shot 37.5 percent from the field, including 15 of 40 from three-point range, and turned the ball over 14 times in the loss. Paul George led Oklahoma City with 32 points, 10 rebounds and six assists in the loss.
— OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) April 22, 2019
The Thunder is below average offensively this postseason as they are 11th with an average of 102.8 points per game. Oklahoma City is tied for 9th in the league in rebounding with 44.3 boards per contest. The Thunder is 7th in assists with 22.3 per game. Oklahoma City is 10th in the league in scoring defense as they allow 109.3 points a night. Oklahoma City is 12th in the league in field goal percentage as the team shoots 41.3 percent from the floor. The Thunder is tied for 12th with 10 made threes per game and stand 13th in three-point shooting at 30.8 percent. Paul George leads the way with 26.8 points plus 8.5 rebounds per contest. Russell Westbrook contributes 21.3 points, 8.3 rebounds plus 9.8 assists per game but is shooting only 36.3 percent from the floor. The Thunder has to get better production from Steven Adams and Westbrook for them to have a chance to extend the series.
Portland Trail Blazers Looking to Close Things Out at Home
Portland bounced back from their Game 3 road loss as they took care of business in Game 4 to take a 3-1 series lead. The Trail Blazers rode a strong third quarter run to take control of the game and then had a run early in the fourth to put the game out of reach. Portland led by two after the opening quarter and trailed by four late in the second quarter before going on a 13-0 run spanning halftime to go up nine. After the Trail Blazers saw the lead cut to four, they used a 21-6 run to go up 19: with the lead down to nine early in the fourth quarter, they reeled off an 8-0 run to go back up 17. The lead didn’t drop below seven after that. Portland shot 41.1 percent from the field, including 15 of 35 from three-point range, and won the rebounding battle 49-44. CJ McCollum led the Trail Blazers with 27 points in the win.
Trust us, you're going to want to watch these highlights 🎥 pic.twitter.com/sKswd5Z6QS
— Trail Blazers (@trailblazers) April 22, 2019
The Trail Blazers come into this one 7th in the league in postseason scoring with 109.3 points per game. The Trail Blazers are 8th in the league in rebounding as they collect 45.5 boards a night. Portland is 16th in the league in assists with 16.3 per contest. The Trail Blazers are slightly above average defensively as they come in 6th in the league by allowing 102.8 points a night. Portland is 9th in the league in field goal percentage by shooting 44.1 percent from the floor. The Trail Blazers are knocking down 12.8 three pointers a night, which is 4th in the league, while ranking 2nd in the league by shooting 41.5 percent from downtown. Damian Lillard leads the way with 28.8 points plus six assists per contest in the postseason. CJ McCollum adds 26.3 points, 6.3 rebounds and 4.5 assists per game while Enes Kanter chips in 13.3 points plus 9.5 boards per contest. The Trail Blazers have gotten crucial production from several of their role players in the series, which has been critical to their 3-1 series edge.
- Thunder are 5-2 ATS in their last 7 games following an ATS loss
- Trail Blazers are 10-25-2 ATS in their last 37 Conference Quarterfinals games
- Trail Blazers are 3-8 ATS in their last 11 Tuesday games