The first half was just awful. The Blazers committed 15 turnovers in the first half. They were down 10 at the break, but they fought back.
In the third quarter, Russell Westbrook hit a shot and used his trademark “Rock the Baby” taunt. Then, he shouted “He’s so small. SO SMALL.” about his defender, Damian Lillard. Then, Lillard erupted.
The Blazers All-Star was held to just four points in the first half. The third frame was Lillard’s all regular season. He scored an 9.5 points per third quarter this season, which was one of the highest in the NBA.
Tonight, Lillard scored 23 points after Westbrook’s “Rock the Baby.” He scored 25 overall in the third quarter. Lillard finished with 32 points in the game.
Unfortunately, Lillard’s efforts weren’t enough. CJ McCollum also contributed 21 points, and Enes Kanter scored eight in the fourth to give him 19 total.
The Blazers struggled in the fourth quarter, getting outscored 34-26 in the final frame, leading to OKC’s 120-108.
The fouls were not the reason Portland lost, but they certainly didn’t help. The Blazers were called for 33 fouls, compared to 24 for OKC.
The Thunder shot 31-of-39 from the line, while the Blazers shot 18-for-24 from the charity stripe. In other words, OKC attempted 15 more free throws, and hit 11 more than Portland.
The Blazers and the Thunder do it all again Sunday night in Oklahoma City. The Last Quarter with Peter Sampson will follow the end of Game Four.