Kerr calls Lillard's game-winner against Thunder a 'good shot'

Associated Press

Associated Press

The usually offensive-minded Kanter was phenomenal in the first round of the playoffs - not only did he average 13.2 points and 10.2 rebounds in the five-game series victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder, but he also played some of the best defense of his entire career.

Kanter called it a blessing to be with the Trail Blazers, who won their first playoff series since 2016. His first game against Denver was one of his best performances this season - McCollum destroyed the Nuggets in Portland for 33 points but the Trail Blazers still lost by one. Obviously we all play to win a championship, I compete to win a championship. In the raucous postgame celebration, Lillard took the public address microphone and shouted "Rip City!" "In that (2014) game we were down by two, there was less time".

"There used to be conversations that I was a ball hog", Westbrook said. It's a dramatic, unlikely shift in his game he'll need to make if he wants to the the lead player on a team with playoff success.

"The last 5 or 6 minutes of the game, I just kept telling myself like, for us to get this game we were going to really have to dig", Lillard told reporters minutes after the thunderous three-pointer eliminated OKC from the postseason.

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Such series-clinching shots can cement reputations. Jordan hit another walk-off jumper against the Cavaliers in the 1993 Eastern conference semifinals.

Should they advance, they will face the victor of the Houston Rockets-Utah Jazz series in the second round.

Kanter said he suffered the injury Tuesday during Portland's 118-115 win in Game 5 against the Thunder.

"All of those things that we did to give ourselves a chance to win were huge", Lillard said.

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That shot - destined to live in Portland's postseason lore forever - demonstrated exactly what the Trail Blazers have come to expect from Lillard, who has more postseason appearances than Kevin Durant during the last five years.

"I've been blessed, and I stay prayerful, stay thankful to be able to do what I'm able to do", he said, "and nobody can ever take that away from me".

George, who was guarding Lillard on that big 3, seemed to still be taunting the Blazers after Tuesday night's loss.

"First, I would definitely like to thank [the] Knicks for waiving me", Kanter said, all smiles to a laughing press conference. "But he made it and that story will be told, but it was a bad shot". He agreed to a deal with the Trail Blazers a week later, reportedly deciding against going to the LeBron James-led Los Angeles Lakers.

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