NBA: Westbrook, Thunder halve Blazers' series edge

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Apr 20 2019 12:43 PM

Russell Westbrook scored 33 points as the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the visiting Portland Trail Blazers 120-108 on Friday night to take Game 3 of a Western Conference first-round playoff series.

The Trail Blazers lead the series 2-1 heading to Game 4 on Sunday in Oklahoma City.

In the wake of the Thunder's Game 2 loss, Westbrook said he had to play better for Oklahoma City to have a chance in the series.

He definitely did that Friday, shooting 11 of 22 from the floor while adding 11 assists and five rebounds.

Westbrook also made 4 of 6 3-point attempts after making just 1 of 10 long-range attempts over the first two games.

After shooting just 16.4 percent from behind the 3-point arc in the first two games, Oklahoma City came out firing from long distance.

The Thunder, who had hit five 3-pointers in each of the series' first two games (on a total of 61 attempts), were 5 of 8 from distance in the first quarter alone. They finished 15 of 29 from behind the arc, tying the most 3-pointers in a playoff game for the franchise since it moved to Oklahoma City.

Early in the fourth quarter, Westbrook had a three-point play on a drive as part of a 15-7 Oklahoma City run after the Blazers had tied the game at 89.

Paul George contributed 22 points for Oklahoma City while Jerami Grant had 18, Dennis Schroder 17 and Steven Adams 10. George was 14 of 17 from the free-throw line but just 3 of 16 from the floor.

Portland star Damian Lillard had a quiet first half, scoring only four points on 2-of-6 shooting. However, Lillard dominated in Portland's 43-point third quarter, scoring 25 points. Lillard, who finished with a team-high 32 points, shot 8 of 11 from the floor in the third.

The Thunder led by as many as 16 in the third period before Lillard took control, lifting the Trail Blazers back into a tie by early in the fourth.

Lillard was quiet in the fourth, not scoring again until less than two minutes remained with the Thunder ahead by 12.

CJ McCollum added 21 points for Portland, and Enes Kanter scored 19.

The Blazers lost their eighth consecutive road playoff game.

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