Damian Lillard Calls Enes Kanter 'The MVP' Of Game 1

Damian Lillard Calls Enes Kanter 'The MVP' Of Game 1

In the closing minutes of a game that could have gone either way, Kanter rescued the Blazers, snaring back-to-back offensive rebounds to save possessions in the final 91 seconds before making the play of the game.

As for her, this type of rapid response had had fans of different National Basketball Association teams asking her to speak some sense into their own players and ball clubs, given the quick impact of her words after McCollum delivered a 24-point performance to lift the third-seeded Blazers over the Thunder.

Detroit tried everything to stop the "Greek Freak" and the only time they did was when centre Andre Drummond shoved him to the floor with both hands which got Drummond thrown out of the game by the referees.

Kanter was definitely key to Portland's game one victory, and he could very well be a huge part of their playoff run moving forward.

"We needed every rebound and every point and I think he brought it tonight", CJ McCollum said.

The never-quiet Kanter first took it to the Thunder, who traded him to the Knicks in 2017 in the Carmelo Anthony trade, and then he redirected his focus toward those Knicks, who bought him out during a miserable season. Portland outscored OKC 22-21 in the quarter to take a 76-69 lead into the fourth.

The Thunder have not gotten past the opening round of the playoffs for the past two seasons.

The Thunder were taken out to deep waters and almost drowned by the Trail Blazers in the first quarter of Game 1.

More news: Harden scores 29 as Rockets rout Jazz 122-90 in Game 1

And Adams? After bulldozing his way to 11 first-quarter points, demolishing Kanter in the pick-and-roll along the way, he scored just six the rest of the game.

It was a lackluster performance from the Thunder, who had a horrific shooting night as a team, hitting just 5-of-33 three-point attempts (15.2 percent). A native of Turkey, Kanter missed a game in Toronto shortly after joining the Blazers because he felt like his life might be in danger if he left the United States.

Antetokounmpo had 24 points and 17 rebounds in just 24 minutes, as the Milwaukee began their hunt for a playoff championship ring with a 121-86 blowout of the Pistons in game one.

This was only Game 1.

But, for at least one game, two playoff demons were exorcised.

Despite his strong play, many skeptics still doubted Kanter's ability to play in the playoffs.

"A lot of times, you get a reputation and the reputation kind of sticks with you, whether you deserve it or not", Stotts said. He gives great effort, he wants to do what we want to do. "Enes has been like that from Day 1 for us".

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