Russell Westbrook: 'The Way I Played Was Unacceptable'

Thunder's Paul George out of sync looking to find rhythm

Thunder's Paul George out of sync looking to find rhythm

His play during the first two games of Oklahoma City's first-round matchup against Portland could not have done anything to improve his mood, but at least the Thunder star was back to talking Tuesday night after the team suffered its second straight defeat to the Blazers, this time in blowout fashion, 114-94.

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Portland Trail Blazers finished the regular season with a 53-29 record (45-36-1 against the spread) and were placed 3 in the West.

OKC helped the Blazers out by not hitting open shots in Game 1. The Blazers started the series with two home wins in a row and now go to Oklahoma City up 2-0.

The real story of last night's win for Portland was Damian Lillard. "We obviously wanted to try to steal one when we can but the message is just stay with it", said point guard Russell Westbrook.

CJ McCollum likes when games get gritty. Westbrook went five of 20 with 14 points, 11 assists and nine boards. "I know I'm more familiar with players" tendencies, just more up to speed", said Lillard.

Asked about it afterward, Westbrook said: "We'll see".

Game 3 will go down on Friday in Oklahoma City.

Portland came out hot in the first quarter, scoring 39 points and shooting 60 percent from the field.

"We knew it was going to be a fight all night long".

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The Blazers are 19-8 ATS in their last 27 games on 1 day of rest, but just 8-24-2 ATS in their last 34 conference quarterfinal games. They'll be in dire straits if they lose Game 3.

During the presser, Westbrook was asked about his mindset and his message to the team as the series shifts to Oklahoma City.

The first two games of the series leave the Thunder searching for their identity as they head back to Oklahoma City.

George's lingering sore right shoulder didn't appear to be much of a problem on Tuesday in what can be seen as a lone bright spot for the Thunder.

After dropping a disappointing game on Sunday in Game 1, the OKC Thunder needed Game 2 to feel good about themselves in this series.

"I think it's important for us to look for mismatch opportunities when a smaller wing gets crossed up on Enes or a small guard ends up switched on Rodney or Evan or Moe or something like that".

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.

Thunder: Thunder coach Billy Donovan was emphatic before the game: "No injuries, no one out, no game-time decisions.". George still struggled from deep, though, hitting only two of his seven attempts.

Kanter, signed just before the All-Star break after he was waived by the New York Knicks, has started in Nurkic's place. He ended up dropping 16 points in the first half. Terrance Ferguson and McCollum had a heated exchange in the second quarter, earning technical fouls. Both teams are very close in boards grabbed (48.1 to 48) and in turnovers committed (13.4 to 13.7), while Thunder are better in dimes made (23.3 to 22.9).

Poor OKC did their best in the final frame, but the Blazer lead only grew.

The Thunder's only lead was in the opening quarter. "They won the first game", Westbrook said. "My job is to make sure I continue to come out and will and lead our guys and make sure we have a chance to win the game".

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