Thunder: Billy Donovan talks NBA Playoffs

Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder enter the playoffs riding a five-game winning streak and they swept the Blazers during the regular season

It was a lackluster performance from the Thunder, who had a horrific shooting night as a team, hitting just 5-of-33 three-point attempts (15.2 percent).

Kanter was stellar in the series opener - the offensive-minded big man went for a double-double of 20 points and 18 rebounds, with seven of those boards coming off the offensive glass. The Thunder defense was again good, holding the Blazers to just 37 percent shooting and 0-of-1 from three, but Kanter contributed six points and six rebounds in the third to keep pace.

The Thunder faced a 19-point deficit in the first half and battled back to cut the lead to six points at halftime. Starting center Jusuf Nurkic was posting career-high marks in points, rebounds and assists before a devastating leg injury in late March knocked him out for the rest of the year.

In the 2017 offseason, Kanter was a part of the trade between the Thunder and New York Knicks that sent Carmelo Anthony to Oklahoma City.

The Thunder have been to the playoffs every season since moving from Seattle in 2008, but they haven't gotten past the opening round for the past two seasons.

Paul George's injury status is day-to-day due to right shoulder soreness, Thunder coach Billy Donovan said after practice Friday. The Thunder offense continued struggling despite the defensive resurgence, hitting just 8-of-23 from the floor in the frame.

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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.

The teams went back and forth in the third quarter - Portland pushing their lead back to double-digits, the Thunder responding with a charge to draw closer.

The Thunder's only lead was in the opening quarter.

Portland takes a 1-0 lead in the first round series with the victory.

The Oklahoma City Thunder look to level the series against the Portland Trailblazers at the Moda Center in Game 2 on Tuesday.

It took the Rockets a few months to get on track for the season, but the second-half surge up the Western Conference standings netted the respect of a team that pushed Golden State to the brink of elimination before the Warriors rallied and later secured their second championship in succession and third in the span of four years.

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