Game Recap: Thunder 91, Trail Blazers 98

News and notes following the Thunder’s 98-91 loss to the Portland Trail Blazers:

  • After a 14-2 March, Oklahoma City starts April 0-1. But Oklahoma City still wins the season series with the Blazers 3-1. The Thunder is also still very good within the Northwest Division, 11-3 on the season.
  • A poor third quarter turned a game Oklahoma City had led from the first minute into a game where they were fighting from behind. The defense played well in the second half getting several stops but the Thunder shots weren’t falling. OKC scored just 32 points in the second half, one more than their season-low. “I thought both teams played really hard, it was a playoff style atmosphere,” said Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks. “We played pretty good defense most of the game but we couldn’t score in the 3rd quarter. They made us take tough shots and we missed the easy ones we got. And then I thought we started taking too many 3’s.”
  • Oklahoma City shoots just 41%. Kevin Durant led the way with 25 points and 11 rebounds but he was just 3-for-13 on 3-pointers.
  • Thunder off to a blistering 6-for-6 start, Kevin Durant 3-for-3, five minutes into the game.
  • Big offensive first quarter for Oklahoma City, 30 points on 68.4% shooting. KD with 13 points in the first 12 minutes on 5-for-7 shooting. Thunder also with a stunning 12-2 advantage on the boards in the first quarter.
  • James Harden (17) and Kevin Durant (16) lead the Thunder at halftime. KD also grabbed six rebounds. Oklahoma City shooting 56.4% in the half and out-rebounding Portland 22-14.
  • Thunder with a bad third quarter, Oklahoma City just goes 4-for-19 shooting and Portland scores nine points of Thunder turnovers. The Thunder is outscored 25-11, the 11 points are the fewest Oklahoma City has scored in any quarter this season.
  • A late flurry from Kevin Durant, two consecutive 3’s, brings the Thunder to within five but they could get no closer.

PLAYS THE BOX SCORE WON’T SHOW: Kevin Durant with a nice step back move on Gerald Wallace to get himself open for his second basket of the game in the early going...Serge Ibaka with his first block and that triggers a fast break and Ibaka finishes it with a nice jumper...Russell Westbrook with good hustle to grab a loose ball to keep a possession alive and then Thabo Sefolosha knocks down a jumper...both offense and defense really clicking in the first six minutes...Thunder defense has forced two shot clock violations in the first quarter...Nazr Mohammed forcing Aldridge out beyond his comfort zone, forcing a miss...Nick Collison sets another great screen to allow James Harden to get into the lane to attack the rim and get a foul early in the second quarter...James Harden hustling and gets a steal then is fouled while hitting a basket...Kendrick Perkins with the ball on the low block starts a move toward the basket but as he sees a double team heading his way passes out to the open man, James Harden, who nails a three ball...Ibaka stays with Gerald Wallace on a drive to the basket and then blocks Wallace’s shot...Kendrick Perkins presence down low forces Wesley Matthews to miss a jam...Thunder with a big stop right at the end of the half, Kevin Durant steals the ball from Gerald Wallace, KD misses a three at the buzzer but the stop was the big thing and OKC maintains a six point lead at the break...Durant cuts off the inside for Wallace and then blocks his shot to start the second half...three consecutive offensive rebounds for the Thunder on a possession late in the third quarter...Serge Ibaka gets out on Rudy Fernandez forcing a miss on a 3-pointer in the fourth quarter...

STATS WORTH REPEATING: Oklahoma City did a good job on the boards, out-rebounding Portland 48-35. OKC also grabbed 17 offensive boards...Kevin Durant picked up another double-double with 25 points and 11 rebounds...Russell Westbrook with 16 points, nine rebounds and six assists...another good night at the free throw line going 20-for-23...but Oklahoma City was only 7-for-27 (25.9%) on 3-pointers and just 32-for-78 (41%) overall.

LAST WORD: We just couldn’t make shots tonight, sometimes that happens,” said center Nazr Mohammed. “I know Kevin (Durant) had a tough night but I just told him to keep shootin, you gotta keep puttin em up.”

UP NEXT: The west coast road trip continues with a trip down to L.A. to face Blake Griffin and the Clippers. Tip-off is set for 9:30 PM Saturday inside Staples Center. You can watch all the action.