Grades: OKC Thunder rock the baby on the Blazers in Game 3

Oklahoma City had to have this game tonight. Staring an 0-2 deficit square in the eyes, the OKC Thunder did what they needed to do and won Game 3 with a gritty performance. Despite a valiant effort from the pesky Portland Trailblazers, Russell Westbrook and company would not be denied on this night.
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The first half was a defensive, ugly slog of a game. That seemed to favor the OKC Thunder as they played suffocating defense and lead by 10-points at the half time break. A big part of that was that the Thunder made shots they have not for most of this series, hitting six triples in the first half compared to only five made in the previous game.

Oklahoma City Thunder
120

Portland Trailblazers
108
The third quarter was an absolute roller coaster ride. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum came out swinging, as they lead the Blazers to a sizzling 43 point quarter that saw the OKC Thunder lead dwindle to four points. With the momentum clearly shifting in favor of Portland, OKC needed to respond.
Thankfully they did just that in the 4th quarter. The strong defense of the first half returned and they made crucial free throws down the stretch. If the OKC Thunder can play with that level of poise for the remainder of this series, they may just pull it out somehow.

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