April 17, 2019 / 5:36 AM / 8 days ago

Blazers go up 2-0 on Thunder with 3-pointer barrage

EditorsNote: rewords fifth graf

Apr 16, 2019; Portland, OR, USA; Oklahoma City Thunder scores in the first half against the Portland Trail Blazers in game two of the first round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Moda Center. Mandatory Credit: Jaime Valdez-USA TODAY Sports

CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard combined for 62 points as the Portland Trail Blazers swept to a 114-94 victory over the visiting Oklahoma City Thunder on Tuesday night.

McCollum scored 33 points and Lillard added 29 as the Trail Blazers seized a 2-0 lead in the best-of-seven, first-round Western Conference playoff series. Maurice Harkless chipped in 14 points and nine rebounds for Portland, which led by as many as 22 points in the fourth quarter.

Game 3 is set for Friday night at Oklahoma City.

Paul George tallied 27 points with eight rebounds for the Thunder, who led by as many as 10 points in the first half. Russell Westbrook collected 14 points, 11 assists and nine boards for Oklahoma City but shot only 5 of 20 from the field.

Portland won the game from 3-point range, making 13 of 32 attempts from beyond the arc. The Thunder were 5 of 28 and have made only 10 of 61 3-point attempts in the series.

The teams went into intermission tied at 54. Lillard and McCollum each had 16 points for Portland while George led Oklahoma City with 16.

The Blazers went ahead 72-64 on a 3-pointer by Harkless midway through the third quarter. Portland increased the difference to 85-73 on back-to-back treys by Seth Curry. Lillard hit a step-back 3-pointer as time expired to give Portland a 91-75 edge going into the final period.

Oklahoma City was within 100-86 after a 3-pointer by George with 6:02 to play. Portland’s Meyers Leonard answered with a trey, and the Thunder got no closer than 14 points the rest of the way.

The Thunder jumped to a 20-13 lead. Portland used a 9-0 run to go ahead 22-20. The Thunder took a 31-26 advantage into the second quarter.

Oklahoma City extended the margin to 46-36 midway through the second. Lillard converted a four-point play as the Blazers drew within 46-42, but the Thunder pushed the difference out to 52-45. McCollum’s 3-pointer as time expired tied the count heading into halftime.

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