It appeared the Thunder (26-12) were headed to its third straight win on Sunday night when they held a seven point lead with just over four minutes left in the game, but Damian Lillard and company caught fire for the Blazers (16-24) down the stretch and prevailed for memorable 115-110 victory.
Russell Westbrook had a rough night from the field, but the all-star point guard did his job in stuffing the rest of the stat sheet with 25 points, 15 assists and nine rebounds. Durant also came to play on Sunday, with the former league MVP finishing with a team-high 28 points.
Lillard totaled 31 points, nine assists and seven rebounds in the win.
OKC’s struggles started in the second quarter when they totaled nine turnovers in the quarter alone, while the Blazers were busy making energy plays such as grabbing offensive rebounds.
It looked like the Thunder’s sluggish play continued in the second half, and Portland built up its largest lead of the night with 7:22 left in the third quarter and up by 10, but Thunder head coach Billy Donovan called a timeout to regroup and apparently that’s exactly what OKC needed.
Out of the timeout, Serge Ibaka nailed a wide open three-pointer while Steven Adams was fouled off the ball and hit his free throw to give the Thunder a four-point possession. OKC forced a Trailblazers turnover seconds later, and Westbrook made them pay for the error by knocking down a pair of free throws before Durant swished a jumper the next time the Thunder had the ball to bring OKC within two points.
That spurt of energy woke the Thunder out of their daze, and in less than three minutes after trailing by double digits, OKC flipped the script and held a two-point advantage. That Thunder lead grew to five before the end of the quarter due to a dazzling display of teamwork.
Things were rolling for Big Blue, but Portland got scorching hot in the final few minutes of regulation. The Blazers totaled five three-point baskets (four from Lillard) in the game’s final 3:06 as Portland outscored the Thunder 20-to-10 to pull out the win.
Despite the loss, Adams had a very solid night. He scored a season-high 17 points while grabbing 10 rebounds. Andre Roberson added 10 points and eight rebounds, but the Thunder bench only totaled eleven points compared to Portland’s 35.
The Thunder are back in action on Tuesday night when they take on the Timberwolves in Minneapolis.