Blazers Dominate Thunder, Take Commanding 3-1 Series Lead

 

----- Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum combine for 51 points as the Portland Trail Blazers take a commanding 3-1 series lead with a 111-98 win over the Thunder Sunday night in Oklahoma City.

It was a total team-effort for the Trail Blazers on Sunday night.

Four of the Blazers' five starters scored in double figures as the Portland Trail Blazers took a commanding 3-1 series lead with a 111-98 win over the Thunder Sunday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK. Portland will have a chance to closeout the series Tuesday night at Moda Center.

Damian Lillard scored 15 of his 24 points in the third quarter including 10-straight for the Blazers when they took control of the game. Lillard connected on 4-for-8 from three-point range. CJ McCollum scored a team-high 27 points on 10-for-20 shooting including 5-for-9 from downtown.

“We were very businesslike,” Portland Coach Terry Stotts said. "We took care of our business. I think, as I told the team, we have to be concerned about us, and I thought we played the way we needed to play. And there really wasn’t a lot — as we talked about yesterday – any of the peripheral stuff. I liked the way we approached the game throughout.”

The Blazers' starting forwards played extremely well in game four. Maurice Harkless recorded a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Al-Farouq Aminu 19 points and pulled down nine rebounds while connecting on 4-for-9 from three-point range. Aminu and Harkless continued their exceptional play on the defensive end forcing the Thunder into a number of bad shots.

Zach Collins led the Portland bench scoring 10 points and pulled down four rebounds. It was the third-straight game with both Collins and Meyers Leonard giving a strong contribution in the second unit.

“I think we’re a lot more mature,” McCollum said. “We understood what we wanted to accomplish tonight. We had multiple discussions about it. If they don’t have a black and gray jersey on, don’t talk to them. Talk to our team only. Don’t talk to the refs. Execute our game plan and let’s get out of here with a win.”

Russell Westbrook's shooting woes continued in Game 4. He finished the night with 14 points on 5-for-21 shooting. Paul George scored 32 points, but he connected on just eight of his 21 shots.

The Blazers hustle showed up on the stat sheet with an edge in paint (36-22), in 2nd chance points (18-10), and in fast break points (20-17).

The Thunder had taken a 46-39 advantage with 2:12 left in the first half, but the Blazers responded with an 11-0 run taking a 50-46 lead into halftime. The Blazers took control of the game starting the third on a 29-14 run pushing the lead to 79-60. The Thunder never cut the deficit inside of seven points the rest of the way.

Up Next- Game 5 will be back in Portland on Tuesday evening at Moda Center. The game is scheduled to tip off at 7:30 PM.

Chad's Take- The most satisfying win of the year. A total-team win with different guys making plays to secure a commanding 3-1 series lead.

 

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