OKLAHOMA CITY – The Trail Blazer entered Sunday night looking to take a commanding 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven series against the Thunder.
Portland was also trying to snap its eight consecutive postseason road game losses dating back to 2016.
Game 3’s 228-point cumulative score marked the highest of the series. Early on it looked as though both teams were ready to break that highest scoring mark in Game 4.
At the end of the first quarter Sunday, The Blazers and Thunder were both shooting over 40% as a team. Portland jumped out to a 26-24 lead.
Despite a rough shooting in the first half for Damian Lillard, and only scoring seven in the first half, he shot lights out in the second half. Lillard scored 15 points in the third and finished with 24 points to help the Blazers hold off the Thunder for a 111-98 win.
The Blazers and Thunder are both looking to advance to the second round of the playoffs for the first time since 2016.
Here are some quick thoughts from the Blazers Game 4 victory:
1. The offensive fouls continued…
Whether it was a charge call, a moving screen, a player extending out his elbow or pretty much any other offensive foul you can think of, it happened in the first half of Game 4.
Plenty of offensive fouls were being charged to the Thunder and that sent the crowd into a frenzy.
At the 9:31 mark in the first quarter, Billy Donovan got hit with a technical foul for arguing with the referees.
The biggest offensive foul call came fairly early in the second quarter after Paul George picked up his third in nearly 14 minutes in transition while running into Seth Curry.
A big storyline of this series had already been offensive fouls and thus that continues.
The foul trouble for PG13 did not continue in the second half, but George did have a sloppy game with more turnovers than normal.
2. Blazers picking up the pace
Throughout the game, the Blazers looked to get out up the court a little quicker in order to not let the Thunder’s defense get completely set.
Entering Sunday’s slate of games, the Blazers-Thunder series ranked fifth out of the eight first-round matchups with an average pace of 101.9 possessions per game for either team.
3. Role players stepping up for Portland
Throughout his career in Portland, Al-Farouq Aminu has been the go-to defensive stopper for the Blazers. On Sunday night, he became the go-to three-point shooter on the weak side.
Aminu still made Paul George’s life hard along with the other Thunder forwards, but he was also a major key in the Blazers adjusting to how OKC was defending the pick-and-roll.
The Blazers starting power forward was wide-open on the weak side when the Blazers’ guards ran the pick-and-roll. Portland was able to swing the ball to him quickly or drive and kick out to him, and Aminu was in zone. He hit his first three three-pointers and ended the game going 4-for-9 from deep.
Maurice Harkless’ active hands and energy on the defensive end could not go unnoticed. The Blazers two starting forwards came up big in the Blazers big Game 4.
NEXT UP: The Trail Blazers and Thunder will tip-off Game 5 in Portland on Tuesday night at 7:30pm. You can catch the game on NBC Sports Northwest. Our pregame coverage starts at 6:30pm.
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