The Thunder defense arrived in the second quarter, holding the Blazers to 30 percent shooting and just 15 points - which allowed OKC to chip away at the double-digit deficit.
Damian Lillard led the way for Portland with 30 points while C.J. McCollum added 24 points.
The Trail Blazers were no less successful having gone 8-2 in their final 10 games with their last game being a 28-point comeback over the Sacramento Kings using only six players, none of which were Portland's typical starters.
Looking at the betting trends, the Thunder are 4-1 ATS in their last five games against a team with a winning record, 4-13 ATS in their last 17 against the Western Conference and 4-1 ATS in their last five games overall.
Portland led by as many as 19 points in the first half, but the Thunder pulled within 80-77 early in the fourth quarter. Russell Westbrook racked up a triple-double of 24 points with 10 rebounds and 10 assists, Paul George led the team in scoring with 26 points and 10 rebounds while Steven Adams chipped in with 17 points and nine rebounds.
McCollum missed 10 games down the stretch with a left knee strain and had only played in two games since returning. That's why it was concerning to hear George talk after the game about the health of his shoulder and how Game 1 was the first time he'd shot in days after not being able to lift his shoulder four days prior.
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And we didn't lose it here or there or whatever. "Only weak people and idiots bring something like this up". Three months ago, we were not able to stay in the match ".
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George made a 3-pointer with 8.2 seconds remaining to get the Thunder within 100-97 but Portland hung on.
It was the first post-season meeting between the teams since the Thunder moved from Seattle to Oklahoma City.
The re-aggravation of a right shoulder injury from the end of February sidelined George in the Thunder's 127-116 win at Milwaukee Wednesday.
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. The Blazers - who made 12 of 20 shots from the field, 7 of 10 from 3-point range - took a 39-25 advantage into the second quarter. Portland outscored OKC 22-21 in the quarter to take a 76-69 lead into the fourth.
"It's a series. First to four".