Lillard's Clutch 3 Helps Blazers Bury Thunder


Tuesday, December 23rd 2014, 11:32 pm
By: News 9


Damian Lillard buried a 3-pointer with just three seconds remaining in regulation to force overtime, and it was all downhill from there for Oklahoma City.

Portland churned out a 13-6 run in OT and walked away with a wild and crazy 115-111 come-from-behind win on Tuesday night in OKC.

This one is going to sting for the Thunder because they had it in the bag. OKC held a 97-91 lead with less than 40 seconds to play, but LaMarcus Aldridge and Lillard got loose down the stretch. Aldridge began the comeback by sinking a layup and a pair of free throws. Then after Russell Westbrook split a pair from the line, Lillard came off of a curl and buried a bomb over Serge Ibaka's outstretched arm.

Thunder coach Scott Brooks was heavily disappointed at his team's late-game execution.

“A switch that did not happen in time, they hit a 3 and then we did not keep our composure,” Brooks said. “Can't do that. You gotta play with composure and poise throughout the game.”

Oklahoma City's shot selection in overtime was poor. The Thunder didn't even try to get the ball inside and instead chucked up one jumper after another. OKC attempted 10 shots in the extra session, and outside of Anthony Morrow's last-second 3-ball, all nine shots were attempted by point guards. Between Westbrook, Reggie Jackson and Ish Smith, there was a severe lack of ball movement on every possession.

Things got ugly late in overtime when Aldridge and Ibaka got tangled up under the basket. The two began to wrestle and were eventually ejected from the game. While the officials reviewed the tussle, another fight broke out in the stands. A large group of fans began throwing punches at one another and security eventually escorted many of them out of the arena.

Westbrook scored 40 points but shot it 34 times. He also grabbed 10 rebounds and dished out six assists. Jackson added 21 points and nine rebounds while Ibaka finished with 16 points and seven boards.

Oklahoma City attempted a whopping 101 shots on Tuesday. Westbrook and Jackson combined for 51 of them.

Lillard was the runaway choice to earn the game ball. He scored 40 points on only 21 shots and handed out 11 assists. Aldridge, coming off an injury and clearly not playing at 100 percent, still managed 25 points and nine boards.

Portland played without starters Nicolas Batum and Robin Lopez, while Oklahoma City was without Kevin Durant as he continues to nurse a sprained ankle.

Oklahoma City (13-16) now sits until Christmas Day when it heads to San Antonio to face the Spurs. With the Phoenix Suns' win over Dallas on Tuesday, the Thunder sits 2.5 games back of the No. 8 playoff spot.