Blazed: Thunder's taunting, trash talking was their undoing
Dame’s dagger from 37 feet out fell through the net at midnight — Oklahoma time — on the dot.
The first and last shot of the series — both courtesy of Portland Trail Blazers star point guard Damian Lillard — came from the Moda Center logo.
Lillard’s stepback 3-pointer flew right past the outstretched arm of Paul George and into the net, capping a stellar 50-point outing in the Game 5 series clincher to end the 2018-19 Oklahoma City Thunder season.
Dame over, Thunder.
As “Logo Lillard” waved goodbye to Russell Westbrook and Oklahoma City, which blew a 15-point fourth quarter lead, Thunder fans had to be disappointed but not surprised.
“The game, the series was over and that was it,” Lillard said. “I was just waving goodbye to them.”
The Thunder’s taunting, trash talking and inability to back it up with their play on the court directly led to the franchise bowing out in the first round of the playoffs for the third consecutive year.
In Game 3 — the only game of the series the Thunder won in the 4-1 series defeat — point guard Dennis Schroder taunted Lillard by imitating his ‘Dame Time’ motion by tapping the wrist to an imaginary clock. Westbrook continued his ‘rock the baby’ antics directed at Lillard. With the Thunder up by 12 points, George went in for a breakaway reverse dunk at the buzzer.
Lillard saw it all. Instead of retaliating or taunting in return, Lillard and the Trail Blazers went about their business then torched the Thunder.