Blazers No Match For Streaking Thunder In Portland
Grant Belcher, News9.com
PORTLAND, Oregon – Tuesday's game in Portland was a matchup of two polar opposite teams.
The Trail Blazers, with their new coach and new players, are a team searching for its identity.
And the Thunder seem to be firmly establishing theirs.
Those contrasting states met at the Rose Garden on Tuesday night and the result was an easy 109-95 victory for Oklahoma City.
The first half was an offensive clinic for the Thunder, who seemed to jump out to an insurmountable lead before Portland could even blink.
OKC shot 66 percent as a team in the first half, including a 7-of-7 start from Kevin Durant.
The Thunder led by 20-plus points multiple times in the game but actually gave the Trail Blazers a glimmer of hope in the third quarter.
A little run got Portland back to within seven points near the end of the third quarter.
But a huge fourth quarter from Russell Westbrook stretched the lead again as he easily scored over the Blazers' smaller guards in the post.
Westbrook finished with 32 points to go with eight assists, leading the game in both categories. Kevin Durant scored 25 points on an incredibly efficient 10-of-14 shooting.
James Harden was his usual self off the bench with 21 points and five assists, and Serge Ibaka helped lead the defensive effort with 12 rebounds and six blocks.
Despite pulling its starters in the fourth quarter, Oklahoma City still dominated nearly every statistical category.
It outshot Portland 57 percent to 43, and outrebounded the Blazers 43-30.
OKC kept up its Western Conference-best record at 38-12, while the Blazers fell to 23-27.
Oklahoma City will get Wednesday off before staying on the west coast to take on the Lakers on Thursday. That game will tipoff at 9:30 p.m. central time from the Staples Center.