Previewing Sunday Night's Thunder Showdown With Portland

Sunday, January 10th 2016, 12:12 am
By: Brett Coppenbarger

Oklahoma City’s West Coast road trip continues on Sunday night at 8 p.m. when the Thunder take on the Trailblazers in Portland. Here are a few things to know about the matchup:

Lillard’s back

Portland’s star point guard Damian Lillard has had his fair amount of trouble with injuries as of late, and recently had to miss some time due to a plantar fasciitis injury in his foot. One would think the Blazers would see the results of his return in the win column, but it’s actually been just the opposite. Portland is 0-3 since Lillard’s returned despite his 25.7 point per game average over that span. In Lillard’s defense, those three losses have come against the Grizzlies, Clippers and Warriors.

In one contest against the Thunder this season, Lillard scored 20 points but only dished out two assists in the 16-point Portland loss.

Portland’s a familiar foe

Both the Thunder and the Blazers are a part of the Northwest division and the two teams have finished first or second in the division in each of the last three seasons. These two teams see each other a lot, and this is only the second of four times the clubs will square off this season. The Blazers will come to OKC on March 14, and then OKC will make their way back to Portland on April 6.

Another streak on the horizon?

OKC rode a four game winning streak into its matchup with the Kings on Monday, but without Kevin Durant the Thunder struggled to get much going and the streak ended that night. Since then, the Thunder have beaten the Grizzlies and Lakers, so it’ll be interesting to see if they’ll string together a few more wins and make it something to talk about.