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Damian Lillard talks about Blazers' breaking playoff drought

Portland point guard Damian Lillard scored 30 points in a 104-99 Game 1 victory over the Thunder on Sunday. He answered questions about the Trail Blazers’ first playoff victory since 2006.

Question: How good does it feel to go out and play well after the Blazers were swept in the first round of the last two playoffs?

Lillard: “It’s a great feeling. We came into this series knowing that we’ve got to be the team that delivers the first blow, we’ve got to come out aggressive and make a stand. Regardless of it’s a win or a loss, we made it a point to come out here and be aggressive and just have that attitude of we’re going to be here all night. We did that, and we got the first one.”

Is there any sense of vindication after a 10-game playoff losing streak?

“Last year we didn’t win a game. This year we did. We’ve gone two playoffs without winning a game, so obviously it’s a good feeling to get back on the winning side. It’s only one game. That’s all it is. We know how it feels to win a game, and now we can just kind of move on from that and stay focused on this series.”

After getting up big, what was your mindset when the Thunder came back and made it close?

“We knew it was going to be a fight all night long, even at the beginning of the game, we were up 17, I wasn’t looking at the scoreboard. I was like, 'let’s just stay solid, keep competing, keep playing hard.' The way we’re playing right now is a type of game we can sustain, and it’s in our favor. So that’s all my mindset was and that’s all we kept preaching in our huddles. Then when they made their runs and when they get back in the game, just weather those storms.”

Related Photos
<strong>Portland's Damian Lillard drives to the basket past Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook during Game 1 of their series Sunday in Portland. [AP Photo]</strong>

Portland's Damian Lillard drives to the basket past Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook during Game 1 of their series Sunday in Portland. [AP Photo]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c2c7d1d2adb8e07ef31874616c83b098.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland's Damian Lillard drives to the basket past Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook during Game 1 of their series Sunday in Portland. [AP Photo] " title=" Portland's Damian Lillard drives to the basket past Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook during Game 1 of their series Sunday in Portland. [AP Photo] "><figcaption> Portland's Damian Lillard drives to the basket past Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook during Game 1 of their series Sunday in Portland. [AP Photo] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a94fdfd4e907d83429cca0af1ac378fb.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts signals from the sideline during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts signals from the sideline during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts signals from the sideline during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-250bae6d327304973cbf793be7f83e6a.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, right, drives against Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, front left, during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, right, drives against Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, front left, during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers guard CJ McCollum, right, drives against Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, front left, during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4edf860c083670707ba160bf879b7618.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, center, grabs a rebound as Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, front left, and Thunder forward Paul George, right, defend during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, center, grabs a rebound as Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, front left, and Thunder forward Paul George, right, defend during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, center, grabs a rebound as Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, front left, and Thunder forward Paul George, right, defend during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-06d997ae3b57a560867dac985a0c9435.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers forward Zach Collins, front left, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, right, defends during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers forward Zach Collins, front left, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, right, defends during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers forward Zach Collins, front left, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, right, defends during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-93a2ab23ed1a6e468ece17b4cc4a622d.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, center, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, left, and forward Paul George, right, defend during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, center, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, left, and forward Paul George, right, defend during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, center, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder center Steven Adams, left, and forward Paul George, right, defend during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-15fef1c9b7b4819b84d860c288820041.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) scores against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) scores against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard (0) scores against the Oklahoma City Thunder during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d1a38dd77cea5b920b5da88a24ba4bfe.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan shouts instructions during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan shouts instructions during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Billy Donovan shouts instructions during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f15387d2c7eee7922c0e84d6ba51bf20.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, center, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, right, defends during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, center, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, right, defends during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, center, shoots as Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, right, defends during the second half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-701484d1909b784f0fcbf66d16df9245.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, right, blocks the shot of Portland Trail Blazers forward Meyers Leonard, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, right, blocks the shot of Portland Trail Blazers forward Meyers Leonard, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, right, blocks the shot of Portland Trail Blazers forward Meyers Leonard, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2c2bed6891486f199869e896dd5f5f46.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, left, shoots as Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, defends during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, left, shoots as Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, defends during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, left, shoots as Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, defends during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e006906915cdeb82c6377930c0f47435.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, left, has his shot blocked by Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, right, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, left, has his shot blocked by Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, right, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, left, has his shot blocked by Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, right, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-6ed74a6cf01c58dab991bcbeb150df9e.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, reacts after making a basket as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, trails the play during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, reacts after making a basket as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, trails the play during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, reacts after making a basket as Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, trails the play during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8375b2e309da07b1793f7c4e00272ef0.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, right, blocks the shot of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, right, blocks the shot of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, right, blocks the shot of Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-9fafa2fa2cd1dcd1eac64ba59cd6f1dc.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, left, knocks the ball away from Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, right, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, left, knocks the ball away from Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, right, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, left, knocks the ball away from Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, right, during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2a75b308be8a09261dbba6dca129d364.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook interacts with the crowd during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook interacts with the crowd during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook interacts with the crowd during the first half of Game 1 of a first-round NBA basketball playoff series against the Portland Trail Blazers in Portland, Ore., Sunday, April 14, 2019. (AP Photo/Steve Dipaola)</figcaption></figure>
Berry Tramel

Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,... Read more ›

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