he Portland Trail Blazers came from behind tonight in improbable fashion yet again, notching a 98-94 road victory against arch-rival Oklahoma City on a night when Kevin Durant scored 37 but couldn't pull his team through. The first quarter of this game was dominated by Durant. He scored 16 points, leading the Thunder to 57% shooting overall in the period. Oklahoma City kept their percentage high through a series of shots near t he rim, piercing the paint in a fashion familiar to Blazers fans. The Blazers staved off disaster by hitting 6 of their first 7 shots, most at the hands of LaMarcus Aldridge. But when Oklahoma City shifted the defense to deny Portland's All-Star forward his teammates responded by hitting only 1 of 7 three-point attempts in the period. Failing to make the Thunder pay for hounding Aldridge, Portland managed only 24 points in the period, giving up 30. The Blazers got a reprieve as Durant took rest on the bench. OKC's second unit scoring was limited to Jeremy Lamb. Meanwhile Wesley Matthews warmed up to a couple consecutive threes and all of a sudden it looked like a ballgame again. Portland climbed to within 4 points, 36-40, with 5:22 left in the second. Then the Thunder upped the tempo, breaking off of Portland perimeter misses. A couple fast-break run-outs put the margin back to double digits and Durant salted in another couple jumpers, making sure it stayed there. Oklahoma City led 54-42 at the half.
Portland outlast Oklahoma
Blazer's Edge | Jan 1