Game Recap - Thunder 99, Trail Blazers 90

News and notes following the Thunder’s 99-90 win over the Portland Trail Blazers:

  • With the win over the Blazers and Houston’s loss to Miami earlier the Thunder has clinched a spot in the NBA playoffs for the second straight season.
    “It feels good,” said Thunder two-time All-Star Kevin Durant. “A couple of years ago we were the worst team ever. Two years later we have clinched consecutive playoff appearances, so it feels good. We just have to keep pushing.”
  • Durant scored 21 points but it was Russell Westbrook who led the Thunder with 28. Westbrook hit three 3’s in the last five minutes of the game including a deadly dagger with :21.9 left to preserve the win.
    “Early in the game I was missing easy shots,” Westbrook said, “I just tried to focus in and hit those big shots. The three ball is something I just don’t need to shoot unless it is needed and that’s when I take them.”
    “They were switching one through five and a lot of times Marcus Camby was guarding him,” noted Thunder Head Coach Scott Brooks. “I’m not going to sit up here and say they were great shots but they were big shots. Russell has a tremendous amount of pride and confidence in his game and he’s improving everyday with us. He made the big shots.”
    “I think we were all worried until those shots actually went in,” said a smiling D urant in the Thunder locker room. “You know when Russell takes a three like that he feels confident that he’s going to make it. I’ve seen him shoot 3’s like that so I knew he was going to make them.”
  • Portland’s Gerald Wallace hit 16 shots for 40 points but he was 0-for-3 in the last 1:30 of the game, one of those shots was blocked by Kendrick Perkins.
    “They (Perkins and Ibaka) do a great job of protecting the basket,” Brooks said, “and they compliment each other very well as well as Nick (Collison) and Naz (Mohammed). What I really like about all of them is that you can mix and match them. You don’t have to put two in and take two out. They can all play alongside of one another. Those guys are starting to develop good chemistry. Give them a lot of credit. They work, they talk and they get it done.”
  • A solid first half for the Thunder. Oklahoma City closed the half with a 24-13 run. Kevin Durant (15) and Serge Ibaka (12) were both in double figures. KD was 3-for-5 from long range and also stole the ball three times. Ibaka was 6-for-6 from the field.
  • The Thunder held Portland to 43.6% shooting overall (17-for-39) in the first half and just 14.3% (1-for-7) on 3-pointers.
  • Both teams grabbed seven offensive rebounds in the first half but the Thunder took advantage of their second chance opportunities scoring 12 points on 6-for-7 shooting. Portland scored just four points on 1-for-5 shooting.
  • Before the game Westbrook pledged to donate a thousand dollars to Direct Relief International to help the people of Japan so with his 28 points Russell will be donating $28,000.00

PLAYS THE BOX SCORE WON’T SHOW: Serge Ibaka with a good defensive effort against Wesley Matthews forcing him to miss a shot down low and Serge then grabs the rebound...Nice back door cut move from Kevin Durant to get open for an alley-oop pass from Eric Maynor...Nick Collison stops a Portland possession with solid defense on LaMarcus Aldridge forcing him to miss a shot. Collison then grabs the rebound...Kevin Durant steps into the passing lane and intercepts a Nicolas Batum pass then is fouled on the other end. KD converts both free throws...Moments later Durant intercepts an alley-oop pass and leads a fast break. Westbrook then nails a three giving the Thunder a 55-40 lead just before halftime...Serge Ibaka out on the perimeter against Andre Miller forces him to shoot an airball...Durant with a big time block out beyond the arc on Wesley Matthews just as the third quarter ends preserving a six point Thunder lead...Kendrick Perkins battling under the rim for a rebound and knocks the ball out of bounds off of Marcus Camby’s body to give the Thunder possession...Durant with another block this time against Gerald Wallace down low...Thunder defense forces Portland into a shot clock violation with less than five minutes to play...Big stop for the Thunder with a minute to play, two blocks on one Portland possession, the first by Kendrick Perkins on Gerald Wallace and the second by Serge Ibaka on Andre Miller, triggering a fast break led by Westbrook who raced away for a layup and a six point Thunder lead.

STATS WORTH REPEATING: Russell Westbrook hits three 3-pointers coming down the stretch and goes 4-for-5 for the game from beyond the arc. The four made 3-pointers matches a career high...The Thunder had 11 blocked shots including five by Kevin Durant, tying his career high...The Thunder pulled down 14 offensive rebounds and scored 20 second chance points.

LAST WORD: A limited number of single game playoff tickets will go on sale Thursday, April 14th, at 10 a.m. Due to the great support from Thunder Season Ticket Members, single-game ticket availability will be extremely limited, so be sure to keep an eye out here for more details. Fans will be able to purchase tickets online only; on April 14, look for our link to Ticketmaster. If you are a Season Ticket Member and reserved playoff tickets during your renewal, contact your personal Thunder Account Manager for more details.
“This was just a good basketball game,” said Brooks, “I’m proud of the effort from our guys, it was a great atmosphere and the fans were terrific.”

UP NEXT: The last game of this six game homestand is coming up Tuesday night when the Golden State Warriors come to town. Tip-off is set for 7 PM inside Oklahoma City Arena. You can watch all the action on Fox Sports Oklahoma or listen in on the Thunder Radio Network.