Notebook: Thunder 87, Trail Blazers 83



Posted Jan 14, 2013 1:13 AM

Kerry Eggers, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: Kevin Durant scored 22 of his 33 points in the second half to lift Oklahoma City past Portland 87-83 Sunday night at the Rose Garden. It was the eighth win in 10 games and 20th in the past 25 outings for the Thunder (29-8), who despite missing starters Serge Ibaka (chest contusion) and Thabo Sefolosha (neck strain) snapped the Trail Blazers' nine-game win streak at home.

Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge collected a season-high 33 points and 11 rebounds -- his 17th double-double of the season -- but missed a shot in the closing seconds that could have forced overtime. Nicolas Batum added 21 points with seven rebounds for the Blazers.

QUOTABLE: "It was inspired defensive basketball -- one of our best defensive games of the year, which was surprising, because we didn't have two of our best defensive players in the lineup."

-- Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks

THE STAT: Portland shot 36.0 percent from the field, its third straight game under 40 percent.

TURNING POINT: Portland had the ball trailing 85-83 lead with 8.5 seconds remaining. After a timeout, Aldridge launched a turnaround 18-foot airball. "Took one dribble and shot it," he said. "Thought it was good and it was bad. A bad shot by me. Have to do better." Russell Westbrook was fouled on the rebound and, with 1.7 seconds left, sank a pair of free throws to ice it for the Thunder.

QUOTABLE II: "I'm not going to criticize our guys. They played their (tails) off, were in position to put it into overtime and didn't quite get it done."

-- Portland coach Terry Stotts

HOT: Durant scored 13 of his points in the third quarter as OKC, down 43-42 at the half, mounted an 11-point lead late in the period.

NOT: It was a rough night offensively for both starting point guards. OKC's Westbrook had 18 points, eight rebounds and nine assists but was 5-for-21 from the field. Portland rookie Damian Lillard -- who scored a season-high 37 points in Friday's loss at Golden State -- finished with nine points and nine assists off a 3-for-14 shooting performance.

GOOD MOVE: In the first quarter, Portland's Will Barton hustled up behind Deandre Liggins and blocked a dunk attempt that got lodged between the rim and backboard. The Blazers won the ensuing tip and scored a layup at the other end.

BAD MOVE: Durant took a totally unnecessary third foul on a 3-point attempt by Batum with 4:40 left in the second quarter. Batum sank all three foul shots to push Portland on top for the first time at 36-35.

QUOTABLE III: "The best part of this league is when guys get opportunities, they step up and produce. DeAndre, with his energy and effort, not to mention his three 3s and nine rebounds -- he was everywhere tonight."

-- Durant on second-year pro Liggins, who had career highs in scoring (11) and rebounds (nine) in his first career start. He was 3-for-3 on 3-point attempts.

NOTABLE: It was the fewest points Oklahoma City has scored since an 86-84 loss to San Antonio in the season opener. ... The Thunder have won each of their last five meetings with the Blazers.

UP NEXT: For the Thunder, Monday @ Phoenix, Wednesday vs. Denver, Friday @ Dallas. For the Trail Blazers, Tuesday @ Denver, Wednesday vs. Cleveland, Saturday vs. Milwaukee.