George says he's healthy as Thunder take on Blazers

George says he's healthy as Thunder take on Blazers

After eight straight playoff losses over the past two years, the Portland Trail Blazers finally got a win. Donovan declined to speculate on whether George would be available in Game 1 of the Thunder's first-round playoff series against Portland Sunday. That bucket sparked a 7-2 closing run for the Blazers, snatching away the Thunder's hope after George's three-pointer has cut the lead to just one at 93-92.

George missed Wednesday's 127-116 road win against the Bucks in the regular season finale after experiencing too much pain in his right shoulder to play through during a pre-game workout. But if Paul George is officially a resident of Brick City, OKC just doesn't stand much of a chance in this series.

Westbrook appeared to hurt his right knee or ankle and grimaced while trying to walk it off. Trainers attended to him on the bench at the next timeout but he returned and his layup closed the gap to 91-87 with just under 4 minutes left.

Kanter contributed a double-double with 20 points and 18 rebounds, while McCollum finished the game with 24 points, six rebounds and three assists. "That's actually one of the things we need to do a better job of going into the second game, because a lot of times, it was Paul George".

George's shoulder issues have played a part in the Thunder's second half drop-off, with him first hurting his right shoulder on February 26 against the Denver Nuggets. George is listed as questionable for game one with a shoulder injury. They shot 39.8 percent combined from the floor and an even worse 15.2 percent (5-of-33) from 3-pointer.

It was, apparently, the first time George had shot a basketball in five days.

Lillard said the Trail Blazers know it's going to be a physical series.

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"We fought our way back", he said. "They won the first game", said point guard Russell Westbrook.

"It's a series. First to four. We'll adjust. We'll be ready for (Tuesday's) game".

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. Enes Kanter is shooting 54.9 percent and averaging 15.7 points over the last 10 games for Portland.

Still, the Thunder hung around behind a masterful and controlled Westbrook performance, as he repeatedly attacked the deep paint to either get fouled, score with either hand or dish to Adams on a roll.

Originally, Kanter was signed to provide frontcourt depth in Portland.

"I don't think it was anything we did", Lillard said.

If Paul George plays, trying to limit him will be a huge task for the Trail Blazers, he can score in a lot of different ways and making it hard on him will be very important, they can't let him be comfortable in this series.

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