Notebook: Thunder 103, Trail Blazers 83



Posted Mar 24, 2013 10:29 PM

Randy Renner, for NBA.com

THE FACTS: The Oklahoma City Thunder used a big second half and won for only the fifth time this season when trailing at halftime (12 losses). Oklahoma City ended up blowing past the Portland Trail Blazers 103-83 in a game they trailed 47-45 at the half.

Kevin Durant led all scorers with 24 points, plus pulled down 10 rebounds and Russell Westbrook added 21. Serge Ibaka was mired in foul trouble the first half and didn't take a shot but finished with 16 points on 7-for-9 second half shooting. He also blocked five shots.

The Blazers (33-37) had five players in double figures led by rookie point guard Damian Lillard who dropped in 19 points while handing out six assists. Nicolas Batum had 13 and J.J. Hickson added a dozen. LaMarcus Aldridge struggled against the Thunder big men all night going just 3-for-14. He ended up with 10 points (11 below his average) but did grab a game-high 12 rebounds. Eric Maynor in his first return trip to Oklahoma City since being traded to the Blazers scored 10 points and handed out four assists.

The Thunder (52-19) shot 52.4 percent for the game and are now 24-1 when shooting over 50 percent in a game this season. The Blazers were held to just 40.5 percent and turned the ball over 17 times. OKC outscored Portland 48-30 in the paint, 20-9 on fast breaks and 14-11 in second chance points.

QUOTABLE: "That's a good team win, everybody did their jobs tonight and made winning plays. The defense really picked it up in the second half. We didn't give up anything easy."
-- Thunder head coach Scott Brooks.

THE STAT: After allowing Portland to shoot 51.4 percent in the first half (including 63.2 percent in the second quarter) the Thunder buckled down and locked up the Trail Blazers in the second half allowing only 36 points on 31.0 percent shooting in the final 24 minutes.

TURNING POINT: The Thunder used a 10-3 run over the last 1:30 of the third quarter to give themselves some breathing room over a tenacious Portland squad that finally began to wilt halfway through the fourth quarter.

QUOTABLE II: "I thought it was a good effort against arguably the best team in The West. It was our fifth game in seven nights and we just didn't have it at the end. I don't think the final score is indicative of how the game went, but my hat's off to them."
-- Trail Blazers head coach Terry Stotts.

QUOTABLE III: "It was good to see all those guys. It felt good for the crowd to clap for me when I went in the game. I had some good memories here."
-- Maynor on his return to OKC.

HOT: Durant was 3-for-4 (six points) in the first quarter...Portland shot 63.2 percent in the second quarter (12-for-19)...Hickson was 6-for-9 (12 points) at halftime...Collison was 4-for-5 (eight points) in the first 24 minutes...Ibaka was 7-for-9 (16 points) in the second half...Durant was 4-for-5 (10 points) in the second half.

NOT: The Blazers started the game shooting just 38.9 percent (7-for-18) in the first quarter...Lillard was 4-for-10 (10 points), Aldridge was 1-for-6 (four points) and Batum was 0-for-5 (two points) in the second half.

INSIDE THE ARENA: The 102nd consecutive sell-out inside Chesapeake Energy Arena. Thunder fan Justin Dougherty, a television sports reporter in Springfield, Missouri, about brought the house down between the third and fourth quarters by swishing a half-court shot worth $20,000. His girlfriend bought the tickets as a birthday present for Justin. He got an extra bonus when Durant ran out onto the court to congratulate him. It's the second time this season a fan has hit the half-court $20,000 shot.

GOOD MOVE: Thunder guard Reggie Jackson leading an OKC fast break across the center court line finds a streaking Westbrook at the free throw line extended and fires a long bounce-pass that hits Westbrook in stride as he hits the lane and goes up for a slam in the first quarter.

GOOD MOVE TOO: With the Thunder leading just 63-61 late in the third quarter Brooks became irate at a non-call by official James Williams. Brooks earned a technical foul for his rant and after that the Thunder outscored the Trail Blazers 40-21 for the rest of the game.

NOTABLE: With 13 points tonight Batum goes over the 1,000 point mark in a season for the first time in his career. He is the 46th Trail Blazer to accomplish the feat.

UP NEXT: For the Trail Blazers, Wednesday vs. Brooklyn, Friday vs. Utah, Saturday @ Golden State. For the Thunder, Wednesday vs. Washington, Friday @ Minnesota, April 4th vs. San Antonio.