Point Guards Control Action in Thunder vs Blazers
Divisional rivals meet on Sunday when the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers meet at Moda Center. They open their first round NBA Playoffs series in what should be a great battle.
Star point guards Russell Westbrook and Damian Lillard will wage a heavy battle in the Western Conference first-round series. Lillard’s Trail Blazers made a late surge to grab the No. 3 seed in the West. Westbrook and the Thunder are the No. 6 seed after winning their final five regular-season contests.
Westbrook averaged 29.5 points, 10 rebounds and 8.8 assists in four games against Portland this season. Lillard averaged 34.8 points and 7.8 assists in these tense showdowns. Thunder forward Paul George is struggling with right shoulder soreness but should play in the opener. Portland will rely on center Enes Kanter to combat Oklahoma City’s Steven Adams. These former Thunder teammates know each other well. Portland is trying minimize not having bulky big man Jusuf Nurkic, who is out with a broken leg.
This, That, and a Dart Throw
The Thunder finished the regular season at 49-33 after struggling most of the first half of the year. George was superb against Portland in the regular season with averages of 38 points and 10.5 rebounds. George fell one point shy of his career high on Feb. 11 when he had 47 points, 12 rebounds and 10 assists for his lone triple-double of the season in a 120-111 home win over the Trail Blazers. The Thunder went 4-0 against the Trail Blazers this season with an average winning margin of seven points.
The Trail Blazers finished the regular season 53-29 in the tight knit Western Conference. The health of shooting guard C.J. McCollum will be observed closely after he missed 10 games late in the season with a knee injury. He didn’t fare well upon his return. McCollum averaged 10 points and made just 8-of-26 field-goal attempts after returning. He was 2-of-11 from 3-point range in two games before being rested in the season finale.
The Dart Throw: Trail Blazers 119, Thunder 112
NBA Playoffs Betting Odds & Trends
|Oklahoma City Thunder|
|Oklahoma City is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games|
|Oklahoma City is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games|
|Oklahoma City is 4-8 ATS in its last 12 games on the road|
|Oklahoma City is 4-2 SU in its last 6 games on the road|
|Oklahoma City is 4-1 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Portland|
|Oklahoma City is 4-1 SU in its last 5 games when playing Portland|
|The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Oklahoma City’s last 6 games when playing Portland|
|Oklahoma City is 2-4 ATS in its last 6 games when playing on the road against Portland|
|Oklahoma City is 2-8 SU in its last 10 games when playing on the road against Portland|
|The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Oklahoma City’s last 6 games when playing on the road against Portland|
|Portland Trail Blazers|
|Portland is 11-2 SU in its last 13 games|
|The total has gone OVER in 4 of Portland’s last 6 games|
|Portland is 2-3-1 ATS in its last 6 games at home|
|Portland is 5-0 SU in its last 5 games at home|
|The total has gone OVER in 14 of Portland’s last 16 games at home|
|Portland is 1-4 ATS in its last 5 games when playing Oklahoma City|
|Portland is 1-4 SU in its last 5 games when playing Oklahoma City|
|The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Portland’s last 6 games when playing Oklahoma City|
|Portland is 4-2 ATS in its last 6 games when playing at home against Oklahoma City|
|Portland is 8-2 SU in its last 10 games when playing at home against Oklahoma City|
|The total has gone UNDER in 4 of Portland’s last 6 games when playing at home against Oklahoma City|
Oklahoma City at Portland Tuesday, April 16
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