On Thursday night, the Blazers and the Thunder gave us plenty of fireworks during their overtime thriller in Portland. By the end of it, we’d seen scuffles, technical fouls, ejections, curious crunch-time calls from the officials, a 51-point explosion from Damian Lillard, and a burgeoning rivalry between conference foes that might offer us a glimpse of a heated showdown later this spring.
Oklahoma City was able to put it away in the extra period, 129-121, but TNT analyst Charles Barkley thinks there’s something special brewing in the Pacific Northwest. The Hall of Fame inductee made the bold prediction that Portland will be the team that ends Golden State’s dominance out West en route to making the NBA Finals. Barkley wasn’t the only one with this take, as one of his co-hosts, Kenny Smith, agreed.