Saturday’s NBA playoffs preview breaks down Game 3 between the Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder, along with NBA tips for all other matches being played today.
11:30 (AEST), Sat 20th Apr @ Chesapeake Energy Arena, Oklahoma City
History: Played 254: Thunder 128 V Trail Blazers 125
Last meeting: April 15, 2019: Trail Blazers 114 d Thunder 94 at Moda Center
Final Thoughts: The Oklahoma City Thunder head back home in desperate need of a victory after losing both games in Portland to the Trail Blazers.
The Blazers took out Game 1 104-99 after racing to a 14-point quarter-time lead.
Damian Lillard top-scored with 30 points. Portland big man Enes Kanter – catapulted into the starting side after Jusuf Nurkic’s injury – starred with 20 points and 18 rebounds. Russell Westbrook put up his customary triple-double (24 pts, 10 reb, 10 ast) for the beaten Thunder.
Game 2 was more emphatic, Portland carving out 114-94 victory – despite the scores being tied at halftime.
CJ McCollum and Lillard combined for 62 points. Westbrook was one rebound away from another triple-double but was restricted to just 14 points. Key Thunder piece Paul George is working his way back from injury, but has averaged 26.5 points and 9 rebounds in the series in a positive sign.
It’s been a disappointing showing so far from sixth-seeded OKC, who won their last five regular-season games. But with a 27-14 record at Chesapeake Energy Arena, they will be relishing getting back in front of their home fans in Game 3.
The 53-29 Blazers landed third on the back of 11 wins in their last 13 regular-season fixtures. They are a modest 21-20 on the road – including a pair of nine-point losses in OKC – but have won six of their last nine away from Portland.
The chances of a Thunder bounce-back are promising at home, but they are giving up too many points at the line to ignore the in-form Blazers.
|Toronto Raptors V Orlando Magic||Total – Over 208 @ $1.71|
|Boston Celtics V Indiana Pacers||Result – Celtics @ $2.29|