The Oklahoma City Thunder looked incredible at times early in Game 4, but an 11-0 run by the Portland Trail Blazers was the turning point of the game. OKC never was able to recover, and the Blazers left OKC with a 111-98 win to take a 3-1 series lead back to Portland.
Russ Has to Be Better
Russell Westbrook made a lot of noise in Game 3, and he came out playing with that same fierce tenacity tonight. Through the first 20ish minutes of the game, Damian Lillard had 2 points with no made shots from the floor.
Out of nowhere, Dame flipped the switch and torched the Thunder the rest of the night.
Meanwhile, Russ went silent.
Westbrook’s only point of the second half came at the 1:55 mark of the fourth quarter. His lack of success on the offensive end played a large part in Oklahoma City’s meltdown, and if he wants to be the franchise player that everyone looks to, he has to be better moving forward.
It Ain’t Over, But…
Oklahoma City knows a things about being a team coming back while down 3-1 in a playoff series. After leading the Golden State Warriors 3-1 in the 2016 Western Conference Finals, the Thunder fell apart as the Warriors came back to move on to the Finals, where they also blew a 3-1 lead against the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Including those two series in 2016, only 11 times has a team come back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Playoffs. Oklahoma City has done a terrific job all season long at playing from behind and storming back to pickup unexpected wins, but it might just be too late this time.
Thunder Player of the Game
Nobody in a Thunder jersey played outstanding, but Paul George earns player of the game honors because of the timeliness of some of his plays. He hit a three at the end of the third quarter give OKC a chance to get back into the game, and while he did not shoot particularly well, he did manage to find his way to the free throw line. George finished the game with 32 points on 8-21 (38.1%) from the floor—including 4-10 (40.0%) from 3–and 12-14 (85.7%) from the free throw line to go along with 10 rebounds and 6 assists.
Elimination Game in Portland
The Thunder is headed back on the road for Game 5 in Portland on Tuesday where they will play with the season on the line. Tip-off is set for 9:30 PM CT and will be televised on TNT and Fox Sports Oklahoma. It will also be broadcast on the radio on WWLS 98.1 FM.
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