Friendship put on hold during playoff series
With a day in between Game 1 and 2 in Portland, you’d think friends Steven Adams and Enes Kanter would have time to hang out, right?
“I mean, yeah, there’s time,” Adams Tuesday afternoon, before the Trail Blazers beat the Thunder 114-94 that night. “But I don’t want to.”
Kanter was the Round 1 winner in the battle of the former teammates, posting 20 points, 18 rebounds and two blocks in Game 1 to Adams’ 17 points, nine rebounds and three steals. Adams said the Thunder did “OK” in attacking Kanter in Game 1. But in Game 2, the Thunder held Kanter to six points and five rebounds.
“It’s more so just stick with what’s been working and being consistent,” Adams said before the game. “You kind of leave that sort of experimenting stuff to the summer.”
After a collision in the second quarter, Kanter appeared to wince as he held his right wrist or hand, but he remained in the game.
Kanter played 20 minutes due to foul trouble. He picked up his fourth foul in the first minute of the third quarter.
“It’s just another game, mate,” Adams said Tuesday afternoon. “It’s a team sort of thing. It’s not this weird thing like, ‘Oh, it reminds me of that one moment we shared.’
“It’s a game, mate. We’re trying to kick each other’s (expletive).”
One buzzer-beating 3-pointer is rare. Two in a game? That’s what Portland achieved Tuesday.
In the final seconds of the first half, the Thunder defense collapsed around Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard. He kicked a pass out to CJ McCollum with just enough time on the clock for a catch-and-shoot 3-pointer. McCollum delivered as Adams tried a last-second close-out, although it was too late to contest the shot in earnest. His shot tied the game heading into halftime.
At the end of the third quarter, it happened again. This time, Lillard took the last-second shot, falling to his left as he released the ball.
Felton’s got wheels
Thunder guard Raymond Felton made his defensive presence felt almost immediately after checking in with roughly two minutes to go in the first quarter.
Trail Blazers big man Zach Collins grabbed a defensive rebound, and Portland guard Evan Turner dribbled back the other way, scanning the court for his options. Felton turned the gas on. Legs churning, the 34-year-old caught up with Turner as he neared the 3-point line and picked his pocket.
Felton was active on defense the whole first half, fighting for defensive rebounds, barreling over screens and adding extra energy on that end of the court as soon as he stepped on it. He grabbed two steals before the intermission.