But the Blazers' mentality won't change.
The Rockets were one game away from the NBA Finals last season and are quite possibly the only NBA team without any fear of the Golden State Warriors. "When you get out there and you know that your team is going to go as you go, he has to outplay me and I have to outplay him if I want my team to win, so that's just what it turns into".
"I had a good day out there today".
"We knew it was going to be a fight all night long".
Paul George paced Oklahoma City with 27 points on 11-of-20 shooting, eight rebounds and three assists. "That team is going to go as far as him and Paul George". The marquee matchup between point guards Damian Lillard and Russell Westbrook did not disappoint. The two jawed at each other at the free throw line in a game in January, and there's the much-replayed clip of Westbrook kicking the ball when Lillard bent to pick it up in 2016.
Asked about it afterward, Westbrook said: "We'll see". "Even, like I said, when we aren't making shots, we're getting quality shots".
"It was a really physical game in the first half", Lillard told TNT after the game.
"I don't really have a choice but to embrace it", said Lillard of defending the 2017 Most Valuable Player. "Both guys take their job very, very seriously, so I think it probably speaks to the competitive nature of both of them". "My job is to make sure I continue to come out and will and lead our guys and make sure we have a chance to win the game". "It's even more important against a team that loves to be out in transition".
Lillard also took onus following a night where he committed six turnovers in Game 1.
"Early in my career, I was criticized a lot about my defense".
Check out the daily offering of Best Bets from the WagerTalk Handicapping Team (we also suggest checking out the Pick Your Team Program). The Nuggets were in danger of losing a second straight game at the Pepsi Center after posting the NBA's best home record (34-7) during the regular season. "And then when they make their runs, and when they get back in the game, (you) just weather those storms".
Lillard exchanged some heated words with Adams after he was rocked by a big screen during the Trail Blazers' 114-92 win over Oklahoma City Thunder this afternoon. "It nearly looked like he couldn't wait to get out there, like he was kind of caged up". Both were ejected when their battle got too heated in Game 1.
"Detroit Pistons" star and top scorer Blake Griffin was out because of an injury which led the hopelessly overmatched team to a precarious position against the league's best team, the Milwaukee Bucks. MVP frontrunner Giannis Antentokounmpo led the Bucks with 24 points and 17 rebounds in just 23 minutes of action. 18 percent. OKC has as many three pointers as Damian Lillard does in the series.