The Oklahoma City Thunder are on the board.
After dropping their first two games of the series against the Portland Trail Blazers, the Thunder get their first win in their home playoff debut 120-108.
Russell Westbrook bounced back from a rough first two games, scoring 33 points to go with 11 assists and five rebounds. 14 of his 33 points came in the fourth quarter as he closed out the game to assure his team came away with the win.
Westbrook got support from the Thunder's role players as Jerami Grant (18 points) and Dennis Schroder (17 points) provided some extra scoring, stepping up for a struggling Paul George who finished with 22 points but shot 3-for-16 from the field.
That team effort was enough to overcome a combined 53 points from Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum as OKC now trails by just one game in the series.
Here are your takeaways from Game 3...
Russell Westbrook had struggled through Game 1 and Game 2 and he held himself accountable after the two losses, calling his performances 'unacceptable'.
He knew he had to step up his play if the Thunder were going to have a chance to dig themselves out of the 0-2 hole and he did just that in Game 3.
OKC's All-Star point guard left everything he had on the floor, talking trash back-and-forth with Lillard all the way until the final buzzer.
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. Westbrook scored 14 of his 33 points in the game's final frame, making five of his six shot attempts while going 2-for-2 from beyond the arc.
Leading by 11 points with just under a minute and a half left in the game, Westbrook pulled up from three with Lillard's hand right in his face. When the 3-pointer dropped in, he let his foe know that he had edged him in this one.
Talk your talk, Russ 🤭 pic.twitter.com/OvLlainl0r- SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) April 20, 2019
Westbrook got the best of his counterpart, scoring 33 points to go with 11 assists and five rebounds. He shot efficiently for the first time this series, going 11-for-22 from the field and 4-for-6 from 3-point range.
OKC catch fire from three
Through the first two games of the series on the road, OKC were 10-of-61 from deep (16.4%) as they found themselves in a 2-0 hole.
Back on their home floor for Game 3, they got their swagger back from beyond the arc, going 15-of-29 and they needed every single one of them.
They set the tone early, going 5-of-8 from three in the first quarter, stretching the Blazers defence as five different players all connected from deep.
OKC has hit five 3s in the first quarter so far, matching the most they made in a game in the series.- Royce Young (@royceyoung) April 20, 2019
Their 15 three-pointers on the night tied their record for three-pointers made in a playoff game, since they moved to Oklahoma City.
Lillard's third quarter
Damian Lillard had been tearing up the Thunder so far in this series - you wouldn't have guessed that if you only saw the first half of Game 3.
Lillard couldn't buy a bucket, going 2-for-6 from the field and 0-for-3 from long range for a total of just four points as his team went into the half down 10 points.
Then, the third quarter happened.
The Trail Blazers had cut their 10-point deficit to just four points after a 43-point outburst in the third.
Lillard exploded for 25 points in the third quarter alone - he shot 8-for-11 from the field converting three of his four 3-point attempts while getting to the free throw line six times, going 6-for-6.
Dame dropped 25 PTS in the 3Q! 🔥⌚️#RipCity | #NBAPlayoffs pic.twitter.com/hdyyvQ93R3- NBA TV (@NBATV) April 20, 2019
He willed his team back into the game, keeping the same energy as the first two contests.
The effort ended up resulting in a loss, but Lillard still finished with 32 points, six assists, four rebounds and two steals.
OKC role players stand up
After being virtually non-existent in the first two games, Dennis Schroder, Jerami Grant and Terrance Ferguson all stood tall in Game 3.
On a night where Paul George struggled offensively (3-16 FG), the OKC trio helped keep the Thunder offence ticking over, with Grant (18 points), Ferguson (9 points) and Schroder (17 points) combining to shoot 9-for-12 from beyond the arc.
Schröder shimmy.- OKC THUNDER (@okcthunder) April 20, 2019
17p|6a|5r so far. pic.twitter.com/fSaAn8T7Cg
Schroder's aggressiveness in the pick-and-roll, especially against Enes Kanter was particularly devestating down the stetch as he scored eight of his 17 points in the fourth quarter