Portland Trail Blazers vs Oklahoma City Thunder

Two of the league's premiere guards will duel again, as Russell Westbrook and the Oklahoma City Thunder look to even their series with Damian Lillard and the Portland Trail Blazers. Game four between these Northwest Division rivals will air on TNT from Chesapeake Energy Arena on Sunday, April 21st at 9:30 pm EST.

How to Watch

Where: Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, OK, USA.

When: Sunday, April 21st at 9:30pm EST

How (TV): TNT

Portland Trail Blazers (Away)

Head Coach: Terry Stotts {All-Time:440-417 | ATL, MIL, POR}

Season Record: 53-29

Projected Starting Five: (G) Damian Lillard - (G) CJ McCollum - (F) Maurice Harkless - (F) Al-Farouq Aminu - (C) Enes Kanter

Top Performers

  • G Damian Lillard - 25.8 PPG | 6.9 APG | .369 3P%
  • G CJ McCollum - 21.0 PPG | 4.0 APG | .375 3P%
  • F Al-Farouq Aminu - 9.4 PPG | 7.5 RPG | .514 2P%

After taking care of business on their home court in the first two games, the Portland Trail Blazers got a taste of home cooking from the Thunder, losing 120-108 on Friday night.

All-Star guard Damian Lillard led the way with 32 points while his backcourt partner, CJ McCollum added 21 points on five of eight shooting from three-point range.

Outside of Enes Kanter who chipped in with 19 points, the Lillard-McCollum tandem did not get much help from their teammates. Maurice Harkless in particular, hurt his team with four turnovers, while also fouling out in just under 34 minutes of action.

Oklahoma City Thunder (Home)

Head Coach: Billy Donovan {All-Time: 199-129 | OKC}

Season Record: 49-33

Projected Starting Five: (G) Russell Westbrook - (G) Terrance Ferguson - (G/F) Paul George - (F) Jerami Grant - (C) Steven Adams

Top Performers

  • G/F Paul George - 28.0 PPG | 8.2 RPG | 2.2 SPG
  • G Russell Westbrook - 22.9 PPG | 11.1 RPG | 10.7 APG
  • C Steven Adams - 13.9 PPG | 9.5 RPG | .595 FG%

With Chesapeake Energy Arena having the most intimidating playoff atmospheres in the league, the Oklahoma City Thunder used the home crowd to their advantage in the win over Portland.

Russell Westbrook went on a scoring binge with 33 points while handing out 11 assists, while fellow All-Star, Paul George scored 22 points. Although he shot just 3 for 16 from the field, George got himself to the free throw line regularly during the game, hitting 14 of 17 attempts.

The Thunder, who ranked 13th in the league in made three-pointers, were red hot from deep in this game, hitting 15 of their 29 attempts. This shooting performance was a welcome sight for OKC, as they could only hit 10 threes out of 61 attempts in the first two games.

What's At Stake?

The Blazers will look to gain a 3-1 lead for the first time since 2014 when they held on against the Rockets to win that series in seven games. Portland has not lost a series that went 2-2 after four games since 2011 when they lost the eventual champion, Dallas Mavericks.

The Thunder need to win this game to avoid falling behind 3-1 and possibly get bounced in the first round for a third straight year. With another win on their home court, OKC can repeat what they did against Memphis in 2014, where they tied the series at 2-2 before eliminating the Grizzlies in game seven.

CJ McCollum is Doing His Part

Through the first three games of this series, CJ McCollum has shown up in full force, averaging 26 points per game, while shooting 50% from deep. Although the former Lehigh standout is could regress to the mean, he has been capable of getting buckets in Oklahoma City, as he dropped 31 points on 7 of 12 shooting from three against the Thunder on January 22.

To be fair, McCollum also struggled in the other regular season game at Chesapeake Energy Arena, when he only had 13 points while hitting just five of his 20 field goal attempts.

The Thunder Are Committing Less Thievery

Despite leading the league in steals during the regular season, the Thunder are currently trailing the Warriors and Clippers in that category during the Western Conference Quarterfinals. With Portland possessing two capable ball handlers in Lillard and McCollum, thefts have been harder to come by for Westbrook, George, and Co. After forcing the Blazers into 18 turnovers in game three, OKC will look to disrupt Portland's flow again at home.

Portland Trail Blazers Roster Notes

C Jusuf Nurkic - 25 Mar 2019 - Out For Season (Leg Fracture) - Nurkic will not return in the playoffs and could possibly miss all of next season with a compound fracture in his left leg.

Oklahoma City Thunder Roster Notes

G Hamidou Diallo - 17 Apr 2019 - Out (Elbow) - Diallo will be out for four weeks after undergoing arthroscopic surgery on his elbow.

G/F Andre Roberson - 21 Mar 2019 - Out Knee - Roberson is out indefinitely with a knee injury, although he has been taking part in on-court drills.

X-Factors: Al-Farouq Aminu (POR) vs Jerami Grant (OKC)

With each of these teams capable of providing plenty of offensive fireworks, someone needs to step up to put out those flames. The players to look out for in game three are defenders who are capable of guarding the perimeter and interior players with their long frames.

Al-Farouq Aminu

Power Forward/Small Forward | 6-9, 220lb (206cm, 99kg) | Wake Forest | Exp. 8 Years

9.4 PPG | 1.3 APG | 7.5 RPG | 0.8 SPG | 0.4 BPG | 0.9 TOV | .433 FG% | .343 3P%

Since arriving in Portland in 2015, Al-Farouq Aminu has become one of the most underrated "3 and D" players in the NBA. In four seasons with the Blazers, Aminu has shot a respectable 35.3% from deep, while utilizing his massive wingspan and quickness to disrupt passing lanes and alter shots.

With the Blazers going through a revolving door of big men, Aminu has also been able to help out on the glass, where he has managed to grab double-digit rebounds in 18 games this season.

Jerami Grant

Power Forward/Small Forward | 6-9, 220lb (206cm, 99kg) | Syracuse | Exp. 4 Years

13.6 PPG | 1.0 APG | 4.0 RPG | 0.8 SPG | 1.3 BPG | 0.8 TOV | .497 FG% | .392 3P%

In his second full season with the Thunder, Jerami Grant has gone from a key reserve to a fixture in the starting lineup. Like Aminu, Grant has improved his shooting stroke significantly from where it was in his Philadelphia days.

The Syracuse product possesses great leaping ability which has allowed him to finish strong in traffic on back door cuts, while also allowing him to block shots on the defensive end. The latter point has been a key asset for the Thunder, with Steven Adams, not exactly a dominant shot blocker himself.

Portland Trail Blazers at Oklahoma City Thunder Predictions and Odds

If you reside in New Jersey, you can now bet on the NBA game Trail Blazers vs OKC Thunder, here:

Sportsbook Portland Trail Blazers Oklahoma City Thunder Link
888Sport NJ +200 -245
BetStars NJ +195 -250

* 21+ | NJ only | If you or someone you know has a gambling problem, call 1-800-GAMBLER

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