Blazers go up 2-0 against the Thunder with 114-94 win

Enes Kanter making most of second chance with Trail Blazers

Blazers go up 2-0 against the Thunder with 114-94 win

Damian Lillard #0 of the Portland Trail Blazers stands on the court as his team trails the New Orleans Pelicans during Game 3 of the Western Conference playoffs against the Portland Trail Blazers at the Smoothie King Center on April 19, 2018 in New Orleans. "We made a lot of, I don't want to say like careless mistakes, but definitely correctable mistakes and I think if anything we are just more confident going in because we won and we're up 1-0 in the series and we know how much better we can play", Collins said. I'm talking about just three games: shoot six for ten in between to combat guys shooting four for ten from three point range. George insisted the shoulder, which kept him out of the Thunders' regular-season finale, was fine at practice on Monday even though it was wrapped in ice.

At no point were the improvements Lillard has made defensively more obvious than during a sequence in the third quarter of Game Two.

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Brooklyn hung tough for the opening half of Game 2 of the series before getting obliterated in the third quarter of the game. Philadelphia's star center Joel Embiid was listed as questionable leading up to the contest, but made a decision to suit up.

Portland took Game 1 also behind the fiery duo of McCollum and Lillard, snapping a 10-game playoff losing streak. After topping the Blazers in all four meetings during the regular season, Oklahoma City kicked off the series as -141 favorites to hand Portland yet another bitter playoff disappointment. The Thunder had a chance to steal Game 1 late in the fourth quarter before Lillard and Enes Kanter made some big shots.

While Oklahoma City didn't shoot well in Game 1, there is no guarantee that will shoot for Game 2. When Westbrook hit a 3-pointer in the first quarter, he pounded his chest and the Thunder went on to lead 31-26 at the end of the period. The Pacers just don't have anybody who can go and create his own shot.

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"I've got to play better", Westbrook said. On Tuesday, he discussed at length his growth as a defender in the National Basketball Association, his improvement in reading an offense and reacting to a play call. There was tension the rest of the way, and frequent jawing back-and-forth. Together the teams had 29 fouls in the opening half. CJ McCollum had 33 points, Damian Lillard added 29 and Portland roared to a 2-0 lead in its first-round playoff series. Then McCollum turned to the crowd and simply nodded.

Back in March, both Barkley and TNT co-analyst, Kenny Smith both agreed that the Trail Blazers will be making their first appearance in the NBA Finals since 1992. Maurice Harkless added 14 points on 6-of-9 shooting plus nine boards.

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"He's one of the top point guards in the league and so am I", Lillard proclaimed. The series shifts to Oklahoma City for the third game on Friday in what is a tie of huge significance for Russell Westbrook and his team-mates if they have any hopes of escaping a first round exit. It wasn't just James Harden who torched them, seven Rockets players scored in double figures, and the eighth one scored nine.

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