OKC pulls out 106-92 win over Blazers
OKLAHOMA CITY Oklahoma Citys 1-2 punch was too much for the Trail Blazers in a 106-91 victory Friday night at Chesapeake Energy Arena.
Russell Westbrook put up 30 points, six assists and five rebounds and Kevin Durant collected 23 points, 17 rebounds and seven assists as OKC (1-1) handed Portland (1-1) its first loss.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 22 points and 15 rebounds and rookie Damian Lillard collected 21 points and seven assists for the Blazers, who shot only .360 from the field while the Thunder fired at a .513 clip.
Portland closed a nine-point deficit to one at 62-61 late in the third quarter, but the Thunder closed out the quarter on a 12-5 run to take a 74-66 lead into the final period.
Oklahoma Citys advantage was 89-81 midway through the fourth quarter when the Thunder scored six straight points to go on top 95-81, and it was over.
OKC led only 49-42 at the half despite a huge advantage in shooting percentage .500 to Portlands .326. The Blazers took six more shots than the Thunder (46 to 40) but made five fewer (15 to 20).
Westbrook had 16 points and Durant 12 along with 10 rebounds for OKC at the half.
Wesley Matthews led Portland through the break with 14 points on 4-for-8 shooting 4 for 5 from 3-point range. Lillard had 11 points, making 2 of 3 attempts from beyond the arc. Aldridge collected eight points and eight rebounds in the half but was only 4 for 13 from the field.
NOTES Portland faces Dallas Saturday night in the second stop on a three-game road trip. ... Lillard became the third Blazer to score 20 points in each of his first two games. The others were Geoff Petrie and Mychal Thompson. ... Nicolas Batum, who scored a team-high 26 points in the Blazers opening-night win over the Lakers, had a dreadful shooting game, making 1 of 11 shots. He had three points, two assists and one rebound in 37 minutes. ... J.J. Hickson contributed 14 points and 12 rebounds for Portland, his second straight double-double. ... Aldridge and Oklahoma Citys Kendrick Perkins drew matching technical fouls in the third quarter. ... Perkins left late in the game with an apparent leg injury.
Forwards Luke Babbitt and Joel Freeland saw their first action of the season for Portland, and were scoreless in five first-half minutes. Babbitt nailed a 3-point shot and fed Lillard for a driving layup in his first minute after entering the game in the third quarter. Babbitt finished with eight points in nine minutes on 3-of-5 shooting, including 2 of 3 on 3-pointers. ... Freeland had two points and three rebounds in six minutes ... Matthews, who finished with 17 points, was 4 for 9 on 3s and is 8 for 15 from beyond the arc in the Blazers first two games. ... Portland was 7 for 11 from 3-point range and 8 for 35 on 2-point attempts in the first half. The Blazers were 2 for 15 on treys in the second half. ... OKC had a 44-24 advantage in points in the paint.