NBA Playoffs: Portland Trail Blazers vs. OKC Thunder preview

Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder enter the playoffs riding a five-game winning streak and they swept the Blazers during the regular season

2019 NBA Playoffs: Portland Trail Blazers vs. OKC Thunder preview

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.

Kanter backed up point guard Damian Lillard's game-high 30 points with 20 points and a career playoff-high 18 rebounds as the third-seeded Blazers opened their series against the No 6 Thunder with a 104-99 victory on Monday (NZT).

The Trail Blazers and Thunder will return to action on Wednesday for Game 2.

The Thunder faced a 19-point deficit in the first half and battled back to cut the lead to six points at halftime. This one could really go either way, so while I'm tempted to take the Thunder, I got this series going to seven games, so I'm taking the Trailblazers to secure home-court advantage with another narrow win and cover here behind another big game from Lillard.

George made a 3-pointer with 8.2 seconds remaining to get the Thunder within 100-97 but Portland hung on.

George was nursing a sore right shoulder and was considered day-to-day for Sunday's game but he started.

Steve Smith & David Warner in Australia squad
Cricket Australia (CA), in its statement, mentioned that the 15-man squad will have to assemble in Brisbane for a training camp. Handscomb can consider himself particularly unfortunate to miss out on the squad after averaging 43 runs in 13 games this year.

The Thunder have been to the playoffs every season since moving from Seattle in 2008, but they haven't gotten past the opening round for the past two seasons. The Thunder offense continued struggling despite the defensive resurgence, hitting just 8-of-23 from the floor in the frame.

George entered the day as a game-time decision to play due to his shoulder injury. But he started and hit his first two 3-point attempts. Portland outscored OKC 22-21 in the quarter to take a 76-69 lead into the fourth.

The teams went back and forth in the third quarter - Portland pushing their lead back to double-digits, the Thunder responding with a charge to draw closer.

The Blazers increased the margin to 47-28 early in the second quarter. Tales of the tape will help players and fans understand how OKC can gain the upper hand in what is sure to be a hard first-round series.

Second-leading scorer CJ McCollum missed almost three weeks near the end of the regular season recovering from a left knee strain and only managed to get in just two games before the beginning of the playoffs.

Lillard wasted no time to get in the scoring column in this one, pulling up from the Moda Center logo for his first bucket of the game.

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