Damian Lillard literally waved goodbye to an era of Thunder basketball after ending their playoff run in 2018-19.
The next year, a new look Thunder squad looked for revenge. It never came though. OKC got off to a bit of a slow start while C.J. McCollum started four of five from the field getting 10 first quarter points. He would finish with 22.
However, in the second, OKC battled back. Chris Paul hit a tough jumper and foul. He led the Thunder with 21. OKC actually had six guys in double figures, despite trailing by five at the break.
In the third, Danilo Gallinari got loose hitting a big three pointer as well as a dunk on succeeded possessions and the Thunder built a four point advantage. Gallinari had 15.
But in the fourth, Portland did what Portland does. Damian Lillard hit a three, then McCollum hit another, and Lillard did again. The Blazers hit five three pointers on five straight possessions. They built a five point lead with under two to play. Lillard had a game high 23 points.
Nerlens Noel, who started for an injured Steven Adams (knee), threw down a slam to pull OKC within three. Noel had 15 points and 14 boards in relief of Adams.
But on the other end, Lillard dished out one of his 13 assists to Rodney Hood who hit a triple to put the Blazers up five. Portland shot 17 of 35 from beyond the arc.
On the other end, Danilo Gallinari threw up a desperation three pointer to keep OKC in it, but it wasn’t to be. The Thunder went just four of 27 from three. It culminated in a 102-99 loss.
The Thunder fall to 1-4 on the season. It’s the fourth time in franchise history the Thunder have started 1-4. Next up for OKC, the Thunder play host to the Pelicans on Saturday.