Damian Lillard scored 30 points and the third-seeded Portland Trail Blazers opened their playoff series against the No. 6 Oklahoma City Thunder with a 104-99 victory on Sunday in Portland, Ore.
Enes Kanter added 20 points and a career playoff-high 18 rebounds for the Blazers, who were making their sixth straight postseason appearance. CJ McCollum added 24 points.
Russell Westbrook had 24 points, 10 assists and 10 rebounds for his ninth career postseason triple-double. Paul George, who was a game-time decision because of a sore shoulder, added 26 points and 10 rebounds after a slow start.
Portland led by as many as 19 points in the first half, but the Thunder pulled within 80-77 early in the fourth quarter. Oklahoma City couldn’t get closer and Lillard hit a 30-footer to extend the Blazers’ lead to 89-81 with 6:38 left.
Westbrook appeared to hurt his right knee or ankle and grimaced while trying to walk it off. Trainers attended to him on the bench at the next timeout but he returned and his layup closed the gap to 91-87 with just under 4 minutes left.
Oklahoma City got within 93-92 on George’s 3-pointer, but Lillard answered with another long 3 to keep the Blazers ahead. Al-Farouq Aminu made free throws with 2:09 left to extend Portland’s lead to 98-92.
George made a 3-pointer with 8.2 seconds remaining to get the Thunder within 100-97 but Portland hung on.
at Boston 84, Indiana 74: Kyrie Irving and Marcus Morris each scored 20 points, and the Celtics rallied in the second half to beat the Pacers in Game 1 of their first-round Eastern Conference playoff series.
Jayson Tatum finished with 15 points. Al Horford added 10 points and 11 rebounds, and Gordon Hayward had 10 points. It was the first playoff game since 2017 for Irving and Hayward after each missed last year’s postseason with injuries.
“I just try to be aggressive on the ball, be in the right spots,” Irving said. “I just really want to be aggressive and really be the head of the snake.”
Game 2 is Wednesday night in Boston.
The Pacers led by 11 points in the first half but had just eight points in the third quarter. The Celtics capitalized and led by as many as 22 in the fourth. Indiana scored 29 points in the second half, and the quarter and half were both its worst of the season.
Cory Joseph had 14 points for the Pacers. Bojan Bogdanovic was the lone Pacers starter in double figures with 12 points.
at Milwaukee 121, Detroit 86: Giannis Antetokounmpo had 24 points and 17 rebounds in just 24 minutes, and the top-seeded Bucks showed they were serious about making a playoff run with a rout of the Pistons in their playoff opener.
The MVP candidate ran and dunked all over the Pistons, who only really caught him when center Andre Drummond shoved him to the ground with both hands late in the third quarter after Antetokounmpo grabbed an offensive rebound with Detroit trailing by 41 points.
Drummond was given a flagrant 2 foul and ejected. He threw a kiss to the Fiserv Forum crowd as he was escorted off the court.
Antetokounmpo struggled at the foul line, making only 5 of 12 attempts, but was 9 for 17 from the field and 1 of 5 from three-point range.
Seven Bucks players scored in double figures. Eric Bledsoe had 15 points, and Brook Lopez and Khris Middleton each added 14. George Hill scored 16 points off the bench.
Luke Kennard paced the Pistons with 21 points off the bench and Drummond had 12 points and 12 rebounds. Reggie Jackson also had 12 points. Detroit played without forward Blake Griffin, who sat out with a left knee injury.