PHOTO/Getty Images-Steve Dykes
All season long Thunder coach Billy Donovan talked about the importance of playing a full 48 minute game. Last night in Portland the Thunder were on their way to doing just that. After 41 minutes OKC led by 15 points. The lead seemed safe, after all the Thunder had won 239 straight games when leading by at least 15 points with 7 minutes or less to play.
Things got shaky over the next four minutes and with 3:08 to play the lead was down to eight...by the next tick of the clock the lead had been trimmed to six. After that the Thunder would score just two more points and with the game tied at 115 with the clock winding down toward overtime Damian Lillard, who had already poured in 47 points, dribbled just past the Blazers logo at half court, stepped back from Paul George and dropped in a bomb of a 3-ball to send the Thunder home.
It's the 12th straight road playoff loss for OKC and the third straight season the Thunder are out of the playoffs after the first round. Lillard finished with 50 points including 10 threes. Paul George led OKC with 36 points but missed two free throws down the stretch and had a critical turnover, Russell Westbrook added 29 but it took him 31 shots to get there.
Big changes could be coming and no question it's going to be a long, hot off-season.
Here is reaction from around Twitter and post game comments.