The Oklahoma City Thunder fell to the Portland Trail Blazers 108-100 on Saturday night, marking their eight consecutive loss in Portland. The loss drops the Thunder to seven in the Western Conference standings and puts them in a tough situation concerning the playoffs.
The Thunder offense was clicking early, and Paul George led the way in the opening quarter with nine points. Russell Westbrook added in seven points and four assists, but it was Patrick Patterson who had the biggest impact early. Patterson, filling in for Carmelo Anthony who sat tonight in order to rest, scored five points early and pulled down four rebounds to give Oklahoma City a bit of a spark. Despite shooting 57% in the period, the Thunder defense struggled to stop Portland, but Oklahoma City was on top 28-25 after twelve minutes.
Raymond Felton kicked off the second quarter with five consecutive points, but Portland jumped on the Thunder to go on a 15-2 run and take a seven-point lead midway through the period. The Blazers would push the lead to eight before an altercation occurred between Jusuf Nurkic and Steven Adams. Nurkic collided with Adams, and Westbrook picked up a technical foul after the fact. The play seemingly ignited the Thunder, however, as Oklahoma City outscored Portland 9-4 the rest of the quarter as they entered the half trailing 53-50.
The Thunder opened up the second half with five consecutive points to take a lead, and for the first eight minutes of the third quarter, the game stayed close and included eight lead changes and two ties. Paul George got hot as he scored 10 points on 4/6 from the floor, but Russell Westbrook shot an abysmal 2/10 for four points, and in the final four minutes, the Blazers went on a 10-4 run to take an 83-75 lead into the fourth.
Oklahoma City’s second unit struggled early in the fourth quarter, and by the time the starters checked back in, Portland was still on top 92-85. The Blazers pushed their lead to double digits before Westbrook scored seven consecutive points to cut the deficit to three, but that was as close as the score would get, and Oklahoma City would fall once again in Portland.
Headed Home to Host Houston
The Thunder is finally headed home to get ready for a matchup with the Houston Rockets, owners of the NBA’s best record at 48-13. The Thunder is 1-0 against the Rockets so far this season, but Houston is currently on a 15-game win streak, including eight consecutive wins on the road. Tip-off is set for 7 PM CT and will be televised on TNT. The game will also be broadcast on the radio on WWLS 98.1 FM.
Be sure to check out this week’s episode of Thunder Things with the Thunder Guys.
Article written by Zack Low. Follow @TheThunderGuys on Twitter & Instagram, and like us on Facebook.