Steven Adams and the Oklahoma City Thunder are staring at a first round elimination in the NBA playoffs after another loss to the Portland Trailblazers yesterday.
Kiwi Adams had 16 points and nine rebounds but point star guard Russell Westbrook shot just 25 per cent from the field to finish with 14 points, nine rebounds and 11 assists in an underwhelming performance as the Thunder fell behind 0-2 in the best of seven series.
CJ McCollum had 33 points, Damian Lillard added 29 as the Trail Blazers scored an emphatic 114-94 victory.
Maurice Harkless added 14 points and nine rebounds for the third-seeded Blazers, who opened a playoff series with two wins for the first time since the 2014 playoffs, when they beat Houston in six games.
The series shifts to Oklahoma City for game 3 on Saturday (NZ time).
"Now we've got to go on the road and get gritty," McCollum said.
Westbrook was pulled with 3:31 left in the game along with most of his fellow starters after Portland had built an unassailable 112-91 lead.
Paul George had 27 points despite lingering questions about his right shoulder, which was covered with kinesiology tape. George insisted the shoulder, which kept him out of the Thunders' regular-season finale, was fine at practice on Monday even though it was wrapped in ice.
Oklahoma City beat the Blazers in all four meetings during the regular season. The Thunder have been to the playoffs for eight of the last nine seasons, but they haven't gotten past the opening round for the past two.
Meanwhile, Denver Nuggets erased a 19-point deficit to defeat San Antonio Spurs and even their series at 1-1.
The Spurs appeared to be cruising to their second consecutive road win in their western conference first-round showdown but a late shooting explosion by Jamal Murray gave the Nuggets a 114-105 win in Denver.
The Nuggets outscored the Spurs 39-23 in the final quarter.
nd Toronto Raptors, powered by Kawhi Leonard's 37 points, beat the Orlando Magic 111-82 to even their series at 1-1.