Sports

Lowe: Westbrook 'has to start winning in the playoffs' for his legacy

Lowe: Westbrook 'has to start winning in the playoffs' for his legacy

After getting categorically outplayed by Damian Lillard through the first two games of this series, Russell Westbrook finally rediscovered his superpowers in Game 3 to propel the Thunder to a 120-108 win and avoid what would've been a almost insurmountable 3-0 series deficit against the Blazers. While they are certainly not done yet, the first two games have not been encouraging for the team.

Portland's Damian Lillard had a huge third quarter, scored 25 of his 32 points and rallied the Blazers back from a 16-point deficit in this quarter.

As the Blazers have dominated their battle with the Thunder up until tonight, the focus on Portland has grown dramatically as basketball fans - both in Rip City and across the country - log on to talk about one of the more intense NBA playoff series. The victory gave OKC its first win of the series as Portland leads 2-1. Westbrook backed down Lillard, hit a bank shot and was fouled.

Russell Westbrook puts the Thunder back in the series with the Blazers.

Lillard scored 23 points the rest of the quarter to help cut Oklahoma City's lead to 86-82 at the end of the period.

The Thunder getting their first win of the series and holding off the Blazers' rally attempts.

He had responded to Lillard's third-quarter explosion in the best way possible - by putting together a monster fourth quarter to close out the game.

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Oklahoma City Thunder point guard Russell Westbrook has become one of the best in the National Basketball Association at his position but he has not been able to advance deep into the playoffs recently.

Siakam was 13 for 20 from the floor and the Raptors held Orlando to 36% shooting.

Terrence Ross led Orlando with 24 points, and Nikola Vucevic shook off a slow start to finish with 22 points and 14 rebounds.

"I just told him, 'Don't get loud when the game is out of reach, '" Lillard said.

Leonard was short with a jumper on the next possession - but the Magic couldn't control the rebound, and were doomed shortly afterward.

Since the departure of Kevin Durant, the Thunder have not advanced past the first round of the playoffs after losing to the Houston Rockets and the Utah Jazz in the two years since.