Thunder Strike Blazers, Get Back In The Series

 

----- Russell Westbrook scores 33 points and dishes out 11 assists as the Oklahoma City Thunder top the Portland Trail Blazers 120-108 Friday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK.

After two awful games at Moda Center, Russell Westbrook had an answer on Friday night.

Westbrook scored a game-high 33 points and dished out 11 assists as the Thunder topped the Portland Trail Blazers 120-108 Friday night in Oklahoma City. Westbrook connected on just 1-of-10 from three-point range in the games one and two in the series, but was able to find the range in game three. He connected on 11 of his 22 shots from the field including 4-for-6 from three-point range.

The Thunder busted out of their three-point slump on Friday night. After going 10-for-61 from downtown in the first two games, they connected on 15 of their 29 threes. Jerami Grant and Dennis Schroder combined for 35 points on 6-for-8 shooting from three-point range.

“You can play really, really poorly but if you really make a lot of threes, regardless of this series or any series, I think you can always keep yourself in a game,” Thunder Coach Billy Donovan said.

Another big advantage for the Thunder came at the foul line where they connected on 31 of their 39 free throws. OKC had a 13-point edge a the line.

“We knew it was going to be a physical game because so far this entire series has been really physical,” Lillard said. “But you don’t get the benefit of the doubt on the road. I think on both sides, both teams played really physical and they lived at the free-throw line and we didn’t.”

The Thunder opened up a close game in the first half with a 10-1 run to end the second quarter taking a 49-39 lead into halftime. OKC led by as much as 16-points in the second half, but the Blazers cut the lead to 91-90 with 9:42 to play on a McCollum free throw. The Thunder responded with a three-point play by Westbrook and a three-pointer by Grant to end Portland's threat.

Damian Lillard scored a team-high 32 points and CJ McCollum added 21 points connecting on 5-for-8 from three-point range. Enes Kanter rebounded from foul trouble in game two to score 19 points and Meyers Leonard led the reserves with eight points on 4-for-5 shooting.

The Trail Blazers turned it over 18 times leading to 18 points for the Thunder.

Notes- The chippy play continued on Friday night. Lillard and Westbrook were jawing back and forth throughout the evening. Maurice Harkless was ejected at the end of the game for tossing his headband into the crowd, and Dennis Schroder was scene tapping his wrist in an effort to mock "Lillard Time." And, Terry Stotts was given a technical foul for arguing with the officials in the first half.

Lillard didn't appear to care much for Paul's dunk attempt when asked about it after the game.

"Typically people say you shouldn't do stuff like that, but honestly, I really couldn't care less," he said. "The game had been decided. If that's something that they needed to do to make themselves feel more dominant or feel better, then so be it."

Up Next- The Trail Blazers and Thunder play game 4 Sunday in OKC. The scheduled time for tip off is 6:30 PM.

Chad's Take- Sloppy game. 18 turnovers is too many for the Blazers. Can't win in that building when you give the Thunder easy opportunities in transition. Thunder a ridiculous 15-of-29 from downtown. In this series, the winner of the three-point line has won each game.

 

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