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Damian Lillard delivers parting shot to Thunder's season as Trail Blazers oust OKC in Game 5

PORTLAND, Ore. — With a side-step, his right hand and the precision the Thunder never could grasp over 87 inconsistent games, Damian Lillard waved goodbye to OKC’s season.

Paul George called the 37-footer a “bad shot.” He was as wrong as the collapse the Thunder exposed its faithful to this campaign. No Lillard shot over the span of the last 11 days was bad, and as he raised his hand and waved the Thunder into a final collapse, the roar of the Moda Center’s capacity crowd added even more insult to the Thunder’s now infamy.

On his way to 50 points, Lillard didn’t forget the Thunder’s posturing in its only win of a lopsided series. He didn’t let Dennis Schroder off the hook for tapping his wrist, miming Lillard’s celebration. He didn’t forget Russell Westbrook “rocking the baby” in his face.

“The series was over,” Lillard said, describing his cold-blooded hand wave to the Thunder’s bench after hitting the game-winning shot over George at the buzzer. “I was just waving goodbye to them.”

The Blazers didn’t let the boastful Thunder off the hook, instead sending OKC into the inevitability of an offseason of questions after a 118-115 loss to Portland in Game 5 of their Western Conference series.

Portland wrapped the series 4-1 and all Westbrook and the Thunder could do was walk off amid falling red and white confetti strips. The sea of deafening noise after Lillard’s dagger ushered the Thunder out of the visitor’s tunnel with unmet expectations. Westbrook didn’t even turn around to check if the replay confirmed Lillard’s shot.

In the annals of Thunder history, it’ll be a crippling loss ranking not far behind Game 6 of the 2016 Western Conference finals against Golden State.

Portland mounted a 12-point comeback in the fourth quarter to advance to the second round. On the other end of a memorable final push by the Thunder, there was also an inexplicable collapse Westbrook could only describe as “very disappointing.”

Portland ripped off a 13-2 run in the final 3:55 of game time to send the Thunder to its third first-round exit in as many seasons.

In the final four minutes, the Thunder missed all four of its shot attempts, turned the ball over twice and George missed two free throws. The final four fateful minutes quickly erased a prolific shooting night.

The Thunder, it of the woeful offense, shot 54.7 percent and lost.

“Tonight from start to finish we played well offensively,” Thunder coach Billy Donovan said in what could be his last podium moment in a playoff series. “Defensively, I really felt from the sidelines Lillard made some really hard shots.”

“He just made big shots,” said George, who scored 36 points on 14-of-20 shooting. “I tip my hat off. Contested. Thirty-five plus feet out. It was his night and he felt it.”

The Thunder felt the sting. Stunned in the aftermath of Lillard’s shot, Steven Adams patted the crestfallen Jerami Grant and Terrance Ferguson on the backs as they stood frozen on the court, Grant putting his weight on Ferguson. Moments earlier, Westbrook drove for a shot to win the game, missing his bulling layup attempt with 18.3 seconds left. When it missed, Westbrook waved downcourt as if to say “defend” on the final possession.

There was little defense for Lillard. In a showdown of stars, he torched every wave of Thunder defense and didn’t come out in the first half en route to 34 points. You noticed his every minute on the floor.

You noticed Westbrook’s as well, for better or worse.

Westbrook finished with 29 points, 11 rebounds and 14 assists, but it took an inefficient 31 shots. He oscillated between his penchant for big misfires and big plays. His missed mid-range shot and breakaway layup in the second quarter directly led to the Blazers’ first lead. Two ill-advised 3-point misses and a panicked pass to George were the roots of a 9-0 Blazers run toward the end of the third quarter.

Yet, in six minutes between the third and fourth quarters, the Thunder ripped off a 17-4 run. It was fueled by a dominant turn by Westbrook in which he balanced 3-point makes with facilitating for teammates.

But from the players to the PA announcer, Portland knew the stakes. With 3:23 left, the big screen showed injured Blazers big man Jusuf Nurkic, who ignited the crowd to even greater heights after showing up to the game late. Hardly heard was the whistle on Westbrook for his fifth foul which sent the Blazers to the free throw line with 1:22 left, cutting the game to 113-111.

George bumbled away his dribble with 1:10 left, but Westbrook went right back to him after McCollum tied the game 113-113 on a driving layup.

Westbrook had a twisting drive opportunity, but missed. Lillard didn’t and let the Thunder know about it on the way out, recalling OKC’s arrogance after a sole win in Game 3.

“I think after Game 3 … Dennis Schroder was out there pointing to his wrist; they were out there doing all these celebrations and all this stuff,” Lillard said. “We kept our composure.

“After one win, that’s what they decided to do. We was like ‘OK, what we want to do is win four games. And when we win those four games, it’s not going to be nothing to talk about. That’s what that was.”

It was the story of a series: The result over the talk. It ultimately leaves the Thunder with a valiant final fight but a painful unraveling to complete a season laden with disappointment.

Related Photos
<strong>Portland's Damian Lillard (0) gets water poured on him by teammates Rodney Hood, left, and guard Evan Turner, right, after winning Game 5 against the Thunder on Tuesday. [AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer]</strong>

Portland's Damian Lillard (0) gets water poured on him by teammates Rodney Hood, left, and guard Evan Turner, right, after winning Game 5 against the Thunder on Tuesday. [AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer]

<figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-ba6864f6298ba31b9fb5f2bf4f5dc57f.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland's Damian Lillard (0) gets water poured on him by teammates Rodney Hood, left, and guard Evan Turner, right, after winning Game 5 against the Thunder on Tuesday. [AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer] " title=" Portland's Damian Lillard (0) gets water poured on him by teammates Rodney Hood, left, and guard Evan Turner, right, after winning Game 5 against the Thunder on Tuesday. [AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer] "><figcaption> Portland's Damian Lillard (0) gets water poured on him by teammates Rodney Hood, left, and guard Evan Turner, right, after winning Game 5 against the Thunder on Tuesday. [AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer] </figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-aec1446c92be00434d6befca612bb913.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, center, loses the ball in front of Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu, left, and forward Maurice Harkless, right, during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, center, loses the ball in front of Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu, left, and forward Maurice Harkless, right, during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, center, loses the ball in front of Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu, left, and forward Maurice Harkless, right, during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-58f59b64cc0e6c9c40572b2a0164d0b0.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, center, drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, and center Enes Kanter, left, during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, center, drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, and center Enes Kanter, left, during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, center, drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, and center Enes Kanter, left, during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f14b4b98ecc170a3f6937a1f724ba51d.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant, right, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant, right, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant, right, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers forward Al-Farouq Aminu during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b19365c9f770c449ebbb223df41d201e.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, center, passes the ball away from Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, center, passes the ball away from Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder guard Russell Westbrook, center, passes the ball away from Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2bf354ef7f38e36a065851613941b390.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard walks off the court after Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers won 118-115. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard walks off the court after Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers won 118-115. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard walks off the court after Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers won 118-115. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-b0b4e557d74596449fbb93d591716517.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, foreground, drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers guard Rodney Hood during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, foreground, drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers guard Rodney Hood during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, foreground, drives to the basket past Portland Trail Blazers guard Rodney Hood during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-8255389470df08878241e96b77283973.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, right, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers forward Meyers Leonard during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, right, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers forward Meyers Leonard during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, right, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers forward Meyers Leonard during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f577c0eb44a94b00e7afe21d4f6c4936.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Markieff Morris, center, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers guard Seth Curry, left, and forward Meyers Leonard during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Markieff Morris, center, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers guard Seth Curry, left, and forward Meyers Leonard during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Markieff Morris, center, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers guard Seth Curry, left, and forward Meyers Leonard during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-19efd728dc9e365633d18ed55dbf0c12.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, center, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, left, and center Enes Kanter, right, during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, center, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, left, and center Enes Kanter, right, during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, center, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, left, and center Enes Kanter, right, during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-254d241786df8e9c63c8a0233c5b9113.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, shoots against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, shoots against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, right, shoots against Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-e3ea395d35ec501057157cf3ec52d4eb.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, center, shoots over Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, center, shoots over Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless, center, shoots over Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-816c37e520855d42e628df83729b4fa6.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, center, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson, left, and guard Russell Westbrook, right, vie for a rebound during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, center, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson, left, and guard Russell Westbrook, right, vie for a rebound during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers center Enes Kanter, center, Oklahoma City Thunder guard Terrance Ferguson, left, and guard Russell Westbrook, right, vie for a rebound during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-7e8ce376d2cc18db9e0ea9250027595e.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless (4) dunks over Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless (4) dunks over Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers forward Maurice Harkless (4) dunks over Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-2c47b8477b3eed7025b58aefe669a3b2.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers guard Evan Turner (1) loses the ball in front of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Portland Trail Blazers guard Evan Turner (1) loses the ball in front of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers guard Evan Turner (1) loses the ball in front of Oklahoma City Thunder guard Dennis Schroder during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-3a323e7215e80206ae28cc93e2da0ca3.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, center, shoots against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, center, shoots against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, center, shoots against the Portland Trail Blazers during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-c29ea0b29294c06ee4df2e5f02c6ba58.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, shoots by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, shoots by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard, left, shoots by Oklahoma City Thunder forward Jerami Grant during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-4bce54969c5e7cbd98343d0471fd92f0.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, center right, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers forward Meyers Leonard during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, center right, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers forward Meyers Leonard during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Nerlens Noel, center right, shoots over Portland Trail Blazers forward Meyers Leonard during the first half of Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-59826cca035417d2e2ae1b633ad0e3ea.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard reacts after making the game-winning shot at the buzzer against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers won 118-115. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard reacts after making the game-winning shot at the buzzer against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers won 118-115. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard reacts after making the game-winning shot at the buzzer against the Oklahoma City Thunder in Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers won 118-115. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-d84c044bc68f15ca70038e8abba4ea29.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard reacts after making the game-winning shot at the buzzer against the Oklahoma City Thunder after Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers won 118-115. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard reacts after making the game-winning shot at the buzzer against the Oklahoma City Thunder after Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers won 118-115. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers guard Damian Lillard reacts after making the game-winning shot at the buzzer against the Oklahoma City Thunder after Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers won 118-115. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-f8d87f2be6ed06e36f491c9240d47757.jpg" alt="Photo - Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard (0) gets water poured on him by teammates Rodney Hood, left, and guard Evan Turner, right, after Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers won 118-115. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard (0) gets water poured on him by teammates Rodney Hood, left, and guard Evan Turner, right, after Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers won 118-115. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Portland Trail Blazers' Damian Lillard (0) gets water poured on him by teammates Rodney Hood, left, and guard Evan Turner, right, after Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Oklahoma City Thunder, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers won 118-115. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure><figure><img src="//cdn2.newsok.biz/cache/r960-a61f82fe3f131658e22a4d03f5a744d0.jpg" alt="Photo - Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, and forward Jerami Grant walk off the court after losing to the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers won 118-115. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)" title="Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, and forward Jerami Grant walk off the court after losing to the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers won 118-115. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)"><figcaption>Oklahoma City Thunder forward Paul George, left, and forward Jerami Grant walk off the court after losing to the Portland Trail Blazers in Game 5 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series, Tuesday, April 23, 2019, in Portland, Ore. The Trail Blazers won 118-115. (AP Photo/Craig Mitchelldyer)</figcaption></figure>
Erik Horne

Erik Horne is in his fourth season on the Thunder beat. Horne joined The Oklahoman as a sports web editor/producer in September 2013 following a five-year stint at The Ardmoreite (Ardmore) – first as a sports writer, then sports editor. At The... Read more ›

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