The score was 39-25, Trail Blazers leading after the first quarter. Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum shot lights-out to begin the game.
It was a great start for what was sure to be a tough game.
Of course, as everyone knows, it's how you finish that counts in an NBA game of runs.
Sunday afternoon, it was Enes Kanter who finished off his former team.
In the last 91 seconds of Game 1 on Sunday, Kanter came up with two huge offensive rebounds and a driving left-handed lay-up that his team would praise him about afterwards as the Trail Blazers held off the Thunder, 104-99.
The 26-year-old finished with 20 points and 18 rebounds, seven of which were on the offensive end. This was Kanter’s third postseason game with a double-double.
As Kanter walked off the floor, Trail Blazers General Manager and President of Basketball Operations, Neil Olshey made sure to find his newest acquisition.
“After we got the win, I was walking to the locker room, I saw the GM Neil,” Kanter said. “And, he told me, ‘what a great decision, right?’ I said, “I appreciate it, thank you so much,’ because if you look at it, I was on the worst team in the league and I wasn’t even playing.”
There’s no doubt Kanter is thankful to be in Portland rather than New York City where he started the season. Kanter has been preaching that since the first day he put on a Blazers uniform.
As for Game 1, it was a physical battle between these two teams, just as expected.
It came down to the wire and there was Kanter, boxing out Steven Adams to snag two key rebounds in the final seconds; Lillard gave a lot of credit to the big fella after the game.