His woes highlighted perhaps the biggest difference in Game 1: The Blazers made 11 of 25 threes; the Thunder made just 5 of 33. Of the 16 playoff teams, only the Detroit Pistons had a worst three-point percentage as a team than Oklahoma City in the regular season.
The Oklahoma City Thunder have not had a lot of recent playoff success. Portland torched the Thunder in the first quarter, scoring 39 points and shooting 60 percent.
CJ McCollum added 24 points for the Blazers, while Russell Westbrook had 24 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his ninth career postseason triple-double for the Thunder. After all, they match up well again them, as evidenced by the fact that they beat them in each of the four regular season meetings.
"He had a huge presence down the stretch and played a huge part in us winning this game", said Lillard.
George missed the Thunder' regular-season finale Wednesday at Milwaukee because of the nagging injury, which also kept him out of games on February 28, March 2 and March 3. George buried a 3 and it was 93-92 with 2:35 to go, but Lillard's trey upped Portland's lead to 96-92 with 2:23 to play.
Seth Curry made consecutive 3-pointers but the Thunder rallied in the final six minutes of the half to trail by just 54-48 at the break. Ferguson earned his third foul and headed to the bench.
Lillard went nine-of-21 from the field on his way to 30 points in 38 minutes, adding four rebounds, four assists and three steals.
The Thunder's only lead was in the opening quarter. "All right. Masters." The Blazers were 8-8 in the postseason against the SuperSonics. These teams met last season in the West semis, with Houston claiming that series in five games.
Speaking to reporters after the game, Kanter recalled his stint with the New York Knicks and his lack of playing time.
Game 1 is set for Sunday at 2:30 pm central time at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon.