Oklahoma City Thunder at Portland Trail Blazers
Tuesday 10:30 P.M. ET
Free NBA Pick: Thunder ATS
Best Line Offered: Pinnacle
The brewing rivalry between the Thunder and Blazers can best be described as chippy on the court and petty off of it. The two sides are both lead by dominant point guards and only one of those players is actually shooting the ball well this series. If Russell Westbrook is not able to find his touch tonight, the Thunder could be going home for the rest of the playoffs.
The Trail Blazers are known as an offensive team, but their defense has been equally important as they have built a 3-1 lead in their first-round playoff series with the OklahomaCity Thunder. The Thunder have been held under 100 points in each of their three losses. They shot only 37.5 percent in Sunday’s 111-98 home loss.
Oklahoma City forward Paul George is averaging 26.8 points and 8.5 rebounds in the series but is shooting only 37 percent from the field and 30.8 from 3-point range. Guard Russell Westbrook is averaging 21.3 points, 9.8 assists and 8.3 rebounds but is shooting 36.3 percent from the field and 30.4 from the 3-point line.
The Thunder are shooting 41.3 from the field and 30.8 on 3-point attempts in the series. The Trail Blazers’ numbers are 44.1 from the field and an excellent 41.5 from beyond the arc.
The Portland Trail Blazers were able to split the two games in Oklahoma City and are looking to close out the series at home on Tuesday. CJ McCollum (27 points) and Damian Lillard (24 points) led the way offensively in Portland’s 111-98 victory Sunday night. They were helped by Al-Farouq Aminu and Maurice Harkless who chipped in some scoring of their own (19 and 15 points, respectively) to complement their consistently solid defense.
The Thunder are facing a first round elimination for the third year in a row. They did manage to win Game 5 of last year’s series with the Utah Jazz when they were facing a 3-1 series deficit. However, that game was in Oklahoma City. The Thunder have not won a playoff road game since Kevin Durant led them to a Game 2 victory over the Golden State Warriors in the 2016 Western Conference Finals.
With their backs against the wall I expect the Thunder to come out and play their best game of the season in order to keep the series alive. With the Blazers being favored by four points, count on the Thunder cover that, and to get a big moneyline upset.
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