It doesn’t get any bigger than Game 4 for both the visiting Portland Trail Blazers (55-30, 21-21 away) and the Oklahoma City Thunder (50-35, 28-14 home), with each team desperately trying to find their way out of the first round of the NBA Playoffs.
The Thunder are trying to square the series at two games apiece, while Portland wants to return home with a 3-1 series lead.
The Thunder opened as 6.0-point favorites, with a projected total of 223.5. Be sure to visit one of our trusted sportsbooks and make your wagers for this one. Portland is 47-37-1 against the spread this season and 43-40-2 over/under. Oklahoma City, meanwhile is 43-42-0 ATS and 40-43-2 over/under.
Tip off time is 9:30 p.m. EST at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Portland Trail Blazers
In position to go up 3-0 in the series – a deficit yet to be overcome in NBA playoff history, Portland came out flat as the scene shifted to OKC. The Trail Blazers shot just 37.5% from the field in the first half, and found themselves down 10 points.
people are gonna claim this win was a product of hot shooting, but that really isn’t the case. thunder won playing their brand of basketball, tonight hard nosed defense
— ً (@___3lack) April 20, 2019
A team that also ranked 11th in fewest turnovers during the regular season at 13.8 per game , Portland coughed it up 14 times over two quarters, finishing with 18 overall.
And despite that, the Blazers were still in this game.
Dame dropped 25 in the 3rd quarter alone 😮
— Dime (@DimeUPROXX) April 20, 2019
That’s because Damian Lillard went off in the third quarter, dropping 25 points to close the gap and give Portland a chance.
His ongoing battle with Thunder wunder guard Russell Westbrook is by far the most compelling battle of peak performers at the same position.
Lillard finished with 32, but he’ll have to get off better in Game 4 if the Blazers want to take it back home and wrap things up in Game 5. He took only six shots in the first half, finishing with just four points. At least they ended the game with a little extra motivation, courtesy a Paul George saucy finish at the buzzer.
Paul George, bum shoulder & all, going Salt Bae on the Blazers' wounds at the end of the game. Didn't count on the scoreboard. But it scored a 10 on the disrespect meter. pic.twitter.com/X9aXShQOvq
— Michael Lee (@MrMichaelLee) April 20, 2019
No starter on the Blazers had a plus-rating for the game, with CJ McCollum a minus-20 in his 36 minutes of work. With two starters also scoring in single-digits, Portland could have used a spark from their bench, but didn’t get it. They totalled just 20 points, nearly matched by Thunder reserve Dennis Schroder’s 17, one of five Thunder players to post double-digits in scoring.
Trail Blazers vs Thunder Statistical Comparison
|113.6 (3rd)||Offensive Rating||109.8 (16th)|
|114.7 (6th)||Points||114.5 (7th)|
|23.0 (25th)||Assists||23.4 (23rd)|
|46.7 (12th)||Field-Goal Percentage||45.4 (19th)|
|35.9 (9th)||Three-Point Percentage||34.8 (22nd)|
|+4.2 (7th)||Plus/Minus||+3.4 (9th)|
|109.5 (16th)||Defensive Rating||106.4 (4th)|
|110.5 (14th)||Points||111.1 (15th)|
|45.7 (13th)||Field-Goal Percentage||46.0 (17th)|
|35.9 (T-18th)||Three-Point Percentage||35.6 (16th)|
|47.8 (12th)||Points In The Paint||48.4 (13th)|
*Regular season statistics
Oklahoma City Thunder
Russell Westbrook called his Game 2 performance unacceptable, and took the blame for the loss. But he bounced back in a big way Friday night.
Russ got his revenge on Dame and the Trail Blazers tonight ⚡️
— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) April 20, 2019
Westbrook displayed that ferocious, attacking style OKC feeds off of, while knocking down some shots as well. After a dismal 5-for-20 shooting night where he scored just 14 points, Westbrook had his best game of the series and out duelled Lillard, dropping a 33-point, 11-assist gem.
He shot 50% from the floor, and made four of his six three-pointers, after making one of this first 10 in the series.
— lulsportz (@lulsportz) April 20, 2019
It’s a brilliant matchup between the point guards, but Westbrook also had some help. Along with Schroder’s 17-point, 6-assist, 5-rebound night, Jerami Grant busted out with 18 points, including a 4-for-5 shooting display from beyond the arc.
That helped lift George, who shot a paltry 3-for-16 on the evening, but he did make hay at the stripe, knocking in 14-of-17 free throws to finish with 22 points.
— NBA (@NBA) April 20, 2019
The Thunder were also more crisp moving the basketball, finishing with 27 assists on the evening. They had just 18 in Game 1 and 21 in Game 2.
The key to this series for the Thunder, however, remains George. Averaging 25 points a game this series, a shoulder injury on his shooting arm is clearly hobbling him. He’s shooting just 36.7% from the field and 27.6% from three-point range this series. In comparison, he was hitting 43.8% from the field and 38.7% in the regular season.
It’s a tough game to pick, but it should be an intriguing one to watch. Game time just around the corner!