Oklahoma City Thunder | Game #79 Preview: Portland Trail Blazers

Tip-Off: 7 PM CT

Location: Paycom Center (Oklahoma City, Oklahoma)

Television: Bally Sports Oklahoma

Radio: WWLS 98.1FM OKC The Sports Animal

Twitter: Follow @ZacharyLowNBA for live-tweets and discussion during the game

It’s been a long NBA regular season in a lot of ways, but the end is basically here as the Oklahoma City Thunder will finish the season on a 3-game road trip beginning tomorrow in Utah against the Jazz. Before the Thunder does that, however, they will play one more game tonight in OKC as they host the Portland Trail Blazers for the 2021-22 home finale.

Just 8 days ago the Thunder pulled out a 134-131 overtime victory against the Blazers in Portland, and tonight’s matchup will likely be another tight contest. Neither team is really making an effort to win, but the two teams have gone about it very differently. The Blazers are a league-worst 2-17 since the All-Star Break with an abysmal +/- of -20.1. The Thunder is just 5-15 since the All-Star Break, but their +/- is much more reasonable at -8.9.

Say what you will about OKC’s tanking tactics, but it’s clear that they have at the least stayed competitive on more nights than not. A number of guys are legitimately injured, while you could likely make the argument that some of them are being exaggerated, but as far as the product that the Thunder is putting on the floor goes, it’s a pretty solid one. Things could be a lot worse in Oklahoma City, and the good news is that we can only go up from here, so keep that in mind when the Thunder isn’t necessarily trying to win tonight.

Projected Starters


  • PG: Theo Maledon
  • SG: Vit Krejci
  • SF: Aaron Wiggins
  • PF: Aleksej Pokusevski
  • C: Isaiah Roby

Trail Blazers

  • PG: Brandon Williams
  • SG: Keon Johnson
  • SF: CJ Eleby
  • PF: Greg Brown
  • C: Drew Eubanks



  • Darius Bazley is OUT (non-displaced tibial plateau fracture).
  • Luguentz Dort is OUT (left shoulder surgery).
  • Derrick Favors is OUT (lower back soreness).
  • Josh Giddey is OUT (right hip soreness).
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander is OUT (right ankle soreness).
  • Ty Jerome is OUT (sports hernia surgery).
  • Tre Mann is OUT (strained right hamstring).
  • Mike Muscala is OUT (right ankle surgery).
  • Kenrich Williams is OUT (sprained left knee).

Trail Blazers

  • Eric Bledsoe is OUT (left achilles tendinopathy).
  • Josh Hart is OUT (patellar tendinopathy in left knee).
  • Joe Ingles is OUT (left knee injury recovery).
  • Damian Lillard is OUT (core muscle recovery).
  • Nassir Little is OUT (left shoulder recovery).
  • Jusuf Nurkic is OUT (plantar fascitis in left foot).
  • Anfernee Simons is OUT (patellar tendinopathy in left knee).
  • Trendon Watford is OUT (left knee bone contusion).
  • Justise Winslow is OUT (left calf inflammation).


  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder is 28-26 (15-11 at home, 13-15 on the road) against the Trail Blazers in the regular season and 1-4 (1-1 at home, 0-3 on the road) in the playoffs.
  • Since arriving in Oklahoma City in 2008, the Thunder has won the season series against the Trail Blazers 4 times, lost it 6 times, and tied 3 times.
  • The Thunder went 1-2 (0-1 at home, 1-1 on the road) against the Blazers last season.
  • The Thunder is 3-0 (1-0 at home, 2-0 on the road) against the Blazers this season.

Game Notes

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