Notebook: Thunder 106, Trail Blazers 92



Posted Nov 2, 2012 11:46 PM

By Randy Renner, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Kevin Durant had a double-double by halftime as he and Russell Westbrook combined for 55 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 106-92 win over the Portland Trail Blazers.

Durant finished with 23 points, 17 rebounds, seven assists and two blocks. The 17 boards are just one shy of Durant's career high. Westbrook bounced back from a tough night Thursday in San Antonio and ended up with 32 points on 13-for-24 shooting, six assists, five rebounds and only one turnover. Kevin Martin playing just his second game in a Thunder uniform had 19 points and was 3-for-3 from long range. In his first two games with OKC Martin is 6-for-9 on 3-pointers.

Four of Portland's five starters finished in double figures. LaMarcus Aldridge led the way with 22 points but it took him 22 shots to get there. Rookie point guard Damian Lillard had 21 and Wesley Matthews finished with 17.

The Thunder won every quarter and trailed only briefly early in the game. Oklahoma City dominated both down low and on the fast break, outscoring Portland 44-24 in the paint and 23-6 in transition.

QUOTABLE: "Good thing I stuck with Russell, huh? I knew he would respond, he's as tough as they come."
-- Thunder head coach Scott Brooks on Westbrook's night.

QUOTABLE II: "We competed for most of the game. We had a hard time putting the ball in the basket. Their transition points are obviously a concern. I liked our effort, we kept battling back but just couldn't get over the hump."
-- Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts.

THE STAT: Portland shot 50.6 percent against the Lakers Wednesday night but Oklahoma City held the Blazers to just 36 percent shooting (32-for-89) and 34.6 percent on 3-pointers. Meanwhile the Thunder shot better than 50 percent from everywhere. OKC was 51.3 percent overall and 55.6 percent (5-for-9) on 3-pointers.

TURNING POINT: After a Luke Babbitt 3-pointer brought the Blazers to within five points (80-75) the Thunder went on a 19-10 run to take control.

QUOTABLE III: "We were running the floor better, finishing better and I thought our defense was great tonight. My job is just to stay in attack mode."
-- Thunder point guard Westbrook.

HOT: Westbrook was 4-for-6 in the first quarter...and 7-for-11 in the first half...The Thunder shot 50 percent (20-for-40) in the first half...Nick Collison finished with 12 points on 5-for-6 shooting.

NOT: In the first quarter the Blazers shot just 33.3 percent (8-for-24)...Nicolas Batum was 0-for-5 in the first 12 minutes...Thunder forward Serge Ibaka was 1-for-5 in the first quarter and finished 3-for-11....Aldridge was just 4-for-13 in the first half.

INSIDE THE ARENA: Another sell-out crowd inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. Fans came into the building through a new main entrance. A $100 million renovation project was completed over the summer to the 10-year-old facility. New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker, an Oklahoma City native, sat courtside.

GOOD MOVE: Early in the second quarter Martin, not known for his defense, blocks a shot from Matthews, then grabs a rebound and on the run out dishes an assist to Eric Maynor for a Thunder bucket.

GOOD MOVE TOO: Durant spent part of the summer working on improving his rebounding. The extra work is paying off early. In his first two games he's grabbed 14 and 17 boards.

QUOTABLE IV: "I think Kevin can be our leading rebounder. I think he can get 10 or 12 every night. He rebounds as good as anyone we have."
-- Brooks.

BAD MOVE: Thunder forward Ibaka spent a lot of time over the summer working on his shot and has greatly improved his mid-range jumpers, however improved or not Ibaka putting up five shots (and missing four) in the first seven minutes of the game while three-time NBA leading scorer Durant put up just one was not the best strategy.

ROOKIE WATCH: Lillard played 37:33 and scored 21 points on 9-for-19 shooting. He had seven assists and three rebounds...Meyers Leonard played 14:40 scoring three points and grabbing four rebounds. Newly-acquired Thunder rookie Jeremy Lamb hit his only shot, a long three in the closing seconds and Perry Jones III scored two points.

NOTABLE: Thunder center Kendrick Perkins left the game in the fourth quarter with what's believed to be an ankle injury...Durant had 12 points and 10 rebounds at halftime, that's just the second time in his career he's had a double-double by the end of the first half...The Blazers began a stretch of three games in four nights, all on the road...The Thunder play 11 of their 17 November games at home, including five of the next six.

UP NEXT: For the Trail Blazers, Saturday @ Houston, Monday @ Dallas, Thursday vs. LA Clippers. For the Thunder, Sunday vs. Atlanta, Tuesday vs. Toronto, Friday vs. Detroit.