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Lillard sparks Portland past Oklahoma City for 3-1 lead

Russell Westbrook went chilly simply when Dame Time hit within the 3rd quarter once more.

Now time’s virtually up for the Oklahoma Town Thunder.

Damian Lillard scored 15 of his 24 issues within the 3rd quarter, and the Portland Path Blazers held Westbrook with out a basket in the second one part in beating the Thunder 111-98 on Sunday evening to take a Three-1 lead of their sequence.

Lillard had some other giant 3rd quarter after scoring 25 issues within the length in a Recreation Three loss Friday. On this sport, the All-Big name level guard used to be Five of seven within the 3rd to assist Portland take regulate for excellent.

“I did not really feel the wish to get overly competitive within the first part, after I noticed how the sport used to be going,” he mentioned. “However then within the 3rd, I felt like that used to be the time once we had to hit the fuel.”

Lillard made his first basket with 1:14 left within the first part after lacking his first six photographs, however he had seven assists sooner than the ruin.

“We have roughly come to be expecting it,” Portland trainer Terry Stotts mentioned. “He manages the sport. He senses the instant once we want him to do various things. He is an final competitor. He’s going to offer it his all.”

C.J. McCollum scored 27 issues, Al-Farouq Aminu had 19 issues and 9 rebounds, and Maurice Harkless added 15 issues and 10 rebounds for the Path Blazers.

Portland can shut out the sequence Tuesday at house.

Paul George had 32 issues and 10 rebounds for Oklahoma Town. Dennis Schroder added 17 issues.

Westbrook scored 14 issues on Five-for-21 taking pictures. He neglected his ultimate 10 photographs and used to be zero for 7 with one level in the second one part.

“Every so often you will have nights like that,” he mentioned. “That occurs from time to time. However it simply wasn’t excellent sufficient for us to get the win.”

George neglected many of the 2d quarter with 3 fouls, however the Thunder hung tricky and led for far of the length. Lillard hit a Three-pointer within the ultimate minute to offer Portland the lead, then Aminu hit a three with Three.nine seconds left because the Path Blazers took a 50-46 edge into the ruin.

Lillard hit deep back-to-back 3s 27 seconds aside to offer Portland a 66-54 lead. The Path Blazers stretched the result in 19 within the 3rd sooner than the Thunder closed the distance. George hit a Three-pointer from the nook within the ultimate seconds to chop Portland’s result in 79-68.

A three-pointer by way of Schroder pulled Oklahoma Town inside of 97-87 with Three:35 ultimate, however the Path Blazers maintained regulate.

Now, the Thunder will attempt to struggle off removing.

“In truth, without reference to what the sequence is, it is all the time one sport at a time,” George mentioned. “You play one sport. You allow the whole lot in a single sport and cross to the following one. It makes no distinction if you find yourself down Three-1 — you have to take it one sport at a time, regardless.”

TIP-INS

Path Blazers: Lillard used to be simply 2 of eight within the first part and scored seven issues. … Made 22 of 23 unfastened throws. … Outrebounded the Thunder 41-38.

Thunder: Thunder trainer Billy Donovan used to be known as for a technical within the first quarter for disagreeing a no-call in opposition to Steven Adams. … Shot 37.Five p.c from the sphere. … Westbrook had 9 rebounds and 7 assists.

HE SAID IT

Lillard, on Portland’s effort to steer clear of the trash speaking and distractions from Recreation Three: “We are not going to head in the market and get in any shouting suits, from side to side and all that stuff. We are going to focal point at the stuff that we wish to focal point on that is going to offer us an opportunity to win the sport. I used to be pleased with how our workforce caught to that.”

STAT LINES

Westbrook has made simply 29 of 80 photographs within the sequence (36.Three p.c).

HOT SHOOTING

McCollum made Five of nine Three-pointers on Sunday. He has made 16 of 31 3s within the sequence.

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Practice Cliff Brunt on Twitter: www.twitter.com/CliffBruntAP

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Extra AP NBA: https://apnews.com/tag/NBAbasketball and https://twitter.com/AP—Sports

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