It’s been 19 years since the Portland Trail Blazers have made it all the way to the Western Conference Finals.

On Thursday, the Blazers lost Game 2 of the seven-game series against the Golden State Warriors. But unlike Game 1, the Blazers led for much of the game, with the Warriors coming out ahead in the neck-and-neck fourth quarter to win 114-111.

Leading up to this series, the Blazers faced a lot of heartbreak that could have derailed their season. Team owner Paul Allen died just three days before the start of the season. In March, center Jusuf Nurkic broke his leg during an overtime game against the Brooklyn Nets.

Courtside reporter Brooke Olzendam with Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard.

Courtside reporter Brooke Olzendam with Portland Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard.

Brooke Olzendam/Instagram

And through it all, Brooke Olzendam was there. She has been the courtside reporter for the Portland Trail Blazers for three seasons, including through this year’s extended playoff run.

“This group, when I say they’ve got heart, I mean it,” Olzendam said. “They’ve bounced back and responded beautifully to every chance they have had to respond to an unfortunate event.”

She sat down with OPB’s Crystal Ligori to talk about the season and what we can expect for the rest of the conference finals.

Clyde Comparisons

“Damian Lillards are rare,” Olzendam said.

But some people have noticed similarities between the Trail Blazers point guard and former Blazer Clyde Drexler, who played on the team for almost a dozen seasons in the 1980s and ‘90s.

Olzendam recalled talking with her cohort, Trail Blazers analyst Michael Holton, about the star players’ similarities.

“He said Dame and Clyde Drexler [have] a little bit of resemblance in the way they lead, in the kind of people they are and the kind of humans they are …” Olzendam said. “To find out they were similar, it warmed my heart.”

Curry Vs. Curry

This is the first time in NBA history that two brothers are facing off in a conference final, with Blazers’ guard Seth Curry facing Golden State Warriors’ guard Steph Curry.

“Last night was really the first time we saw Seth versus Steph action,” Olzendam said. “There’s a play of Seth sneaking up on Steph from behind and getting the steal. It’s awesome and it was just one of those nights where you could see the backyard battles come to life on an NBA stage.”

The Portland Trail Blazers will take on the Warriors at the Moda Center in Portland for games 3 and 4. Tipoff for Game 3 is at 6 p.m. on Saturday.

Hear the full conversation from OPB’s “All Things Considered” in the audio player above.