Expert Cappers Picks
National Basketball Association
Preview
Oklahoma City at Portland
When: 10:30 PM ET, Tuesday, April 23, 2019
Where: Moda Center, Portland, Oregon

The Portland Trail Blazers are on the verge of reaching the Western Conference semifinals after taking a 3-1 series lead over the sixth-seeded Oklahoma City Thunder and can clinch the series when they host Game 5 on Tuesday. The Trail Blazers dropped Game 3 in Oklahoma City but rebounded with a 111-98 triumph in Game 4 as CJ McCollum and Damian Lillard continued to control the game from the backcourt.

Lillard and McCollum combined for 51 points and 11 assists in Game 4 - 34 points more than the Thunder starting backcourt - and tried to maintain a business-like approach despite the hostile surroundings. "We are going to play hard, stay together," Lillard told reporters. "Whenever the crowd gets into it, we are just going to keep doing what we do and come out on top. I was proud that we were able to stick to that and get done but a lot of that is because of what we have been through during the regular season and how we came together." Oklahoma City shot 37.5 percent from the floor on Sunday and is looking for more out of the complimentary players. "We've got to move the ball," backup point guard Dennis Schroder told reporters. "...They're doing a great job playing (All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Paul George), but I think the other guys who were on the floor got to be aggressive, got to get the ball, make a play for somebody else or finish."

TV: 10:30 p.m. ET, TNT, FS Oklahoma, NBCS Northwest (Portland)

ABOUT THE THUNDER: Westbrook was 5-of-21 from the floor in Game 4, including 0-of-10 in the second half, while George struggled to 8-of-21. "They just packed the paint," George told reporters of the Portland defense. "That's how every team tries to guard us, load up on us. We'll get in the flow. We'll get in the rhythm. The ball will find its way. We just have to keep at it." Westbrook carried the load with 33 points on 11-of-22 shooting in Game 3 but is 18-of-58 from the floor, including 3-of-17 from 3-point range, in the three losses in the series.

ABOUT THE TRAIL BLAZERS: Portland got a boost from up front in Game 4 as Maurice Harkless delivered a double-double with 15 points and 10 rebounds and Al-Farouq Aminu turned in his best game of the series with 19 points, nine rebounds and four 3-pointers. "Sometimes (Aminu) scores, sometimes he doesn't, but he gives a great effort every night," Trail Blazers coach Terry Stotts told reporters. "We ask him to do a lot of things at the defensive end, to rebound. He's probably a better shooter than most people give him credit for, and he's been an important part of our team since he's been here." Aminu averaged 8.3 points in the first three games of the series and 9.4 during the regular season.

BUZZER BEATERS

1. McCollum is 10-of-17 from 3-point range in the last two games.

2. Oklahoma City C Steven Adams was held to six points on Sunday - his first single-digit effort of the series.

3. Portland last reached the Conference semifinals in 2016, when they fell 4-1 to the Golden State Warriors.

PREDICTION: Trail Blazers 106, Thunder 102
Stats and Records
Team Comparison
  W/L Strk Home Away Day Night Div Conf
Oklahoma City 50-36 L1 28-15 22-21 4-4 46-32 10-10 29-27
Portland 56-30 W1 34-9 22-21 3-1 53-29 9-11 32-24
Last Meeting
Oklahoma City Portland
Date Away Home Pts Reb FG% Pts Reb FG%
4/21/19 POR 111 OKC 98 98 44 37.5 111 49 41.1
Player Stats
Previous Matchup
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Oklahoma City P. George 32 38.1 12
Portland C. McCollum 27 50.0 2
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Oklahoma City P. George 10 0 10
Portland M. Harkless 10 1 9
Assists Player  
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 7
Portland D. Lillard 8
Season
Points Player Total FG% FTM
Oklahoma City P. George 2337 43.5 511
Portland D. Lillard 2232 44.5 505
Rebounds Player Total Off Def
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 840 114 726
Portland J. Nurkic 788 251 537
Assists Player  
Oklahoma City R. Westbrook 823
Portland D. Lillard 594
Quickchart Matchup
Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Off vs  Portland Portland Defense
Oklahoma City Off vs Portland - Points For 113.9 Points For
Oklahoma City Off vs Portland - Points Against 110.1 Points Against
Oklahoma City - FG% 45.2 FG%
Portland - FG% 45.5 FG%
Oklahoma City - Reb 47.9 Reb
Portland - Reb 42.9 Reb
Portland Portland Off vs  Oklahoma City Oklahoma City Defense
Portland Off vs Oklahoma City - Points For 114.4 Points For
Portland Off vs Oklahoma City - Points Against 111.0 Points Against
Portland - FG% 46.6 FG%
Oklahoma City - FG% 45.9 FG%
Portland - Reb 47.9 Reb
Oklahoma City - Reb 45.7 Reb