The Oklahoma City Thunder got off to a slow start Wednesday night in Portland in which they never recovered as they lost to the Trail Blazers 136-119.
The game started off about as badly as possible for the Thunder as the Blazers hit their first 10 shots from the floor and went 6-for-9 (66.7%) from 3 on the quarter. Hassan Whiteside led Portland with 14 points in the opening period, while Rodney Hood and Damian Lillard added in 9 apiece to give the Blazers a 23 point lead at one point, but a 9-2 run by Oklahoma City to finish the period made it 42-26 after the first period.
The second quarter did not start much better for the Thunder despite the Blazers cooling off shooting from the field. OKC couldn’t get much going on the offensive side of the ball, but the defense was decent enough to keep them in the game. Chris Paul was able to score 4 quick points to finish off the quarter, including a buzzer-beating layup, and at the half, the Blazers led 63-50.
The Thunder came out of the locker room at halftime with a bit of energy as they very quickly cut the deficit to single digits. It didn’t last long, however, as the Blazers were able to answer OKC shot for shot before eventually building the lead back to what it once was. Damian Lillard caught fire as he scored 16 points in the third to give Portland the 104-77 lead headed into the final frame.
The Blazers continued to extend the lead as they went up by 35 just three-and-a-half minutes into the fourth quarter. It didn’t take long for both teams to sub out starters, which allowed Billy Donovan to go deep into his bench and allow plenty of guys to get extra minutes that they normally would not see. In the end, Portland walked away with the 136-119 win.
Thunder Player of the Game
Chris Paul was the Thunder’s best player tonight, which isn’t saying much considering how poorly they played. Paul had a decent night scoring 16 points on 6-for-12 (50.0%) from the field, but he was 0-for-4 (0.0%) from three. He also tallied 5 assists, 2 rebounds, and 0 turnovers.
Home Game on Black Friday
The Thunder is headed home to Oklahoma City where they will host the New Orleans Pelicans (6-12) on Friday. The Pelicans are fresh off a 114-110 loss against the LA Lakers. Much like OKC, New Orleans has not had the greatest start to the season, but they have won 4 of their last 8 as players have begun returning from injuries.
Tip-off is scheduled for 7 PM, and the game will be televised on Fox Sports Oklahoma. It will also be broadcast on the radio at WWLS 98.1 FM.
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