Well, it was bound to happen. Oklahoma City lost their second straight game, a 103-93 decision to the Portland Trail Blazers. James Harden in his first start of the season, led the Thunder with 23 points, 6 assists and 3 rebounds. Kevin Durant, however, shot poorly. KD was 8-26 for 19 points. KD also turned the ball over three times.
Portland never gave up, give them credit. They battled until the end. Portland trailed by as many as eight points in the first half before battling back near halftime at 53-51, with the Thunder being in the advantage at the break.
The Trail Blazers didn’t shoot well at halftime, but shot enough in the second half to over take the Thunder at 55-53 early in the third quarter and never would look back. Portland was led by Lamarcus Aldridge and Gerald Wallace who combined for 43 points, 18 rebounds and 3 assists.
Oklahoma City had no answer in the fourth quarter. At times, they’d try to make a run, but Aldridge, Wallace or Nick Batum would have an answer for the Thunder’s offense. Nothing was more of a dagger against Oklahoma City as late in the fourth quarter when, down seven points, Portland was able to grab their 11th offensive rebound of the night, and kick it back out, where they were fouled promptly. That rebound sealed what was a hard fought, defensive effort.
Post Game Grades
Limit Three-Point Shooting: C-
Portland wasn’t a very good three-point shooting team coming into this game. However, they show 40% and it was enough to hold off this lack luster Thunder offense. It seemed any time the Thunder tried to make a run, they’d hit a big three or a deep shot to stop the run. This was more of a credit to the Trail Blazers than anything. They hit a few contested three-point shots.
Again was very key. Portland out rebounded OKC, and was very vital in the final minutes, gaining offensive rebounds in key situations. Not to mention their power forward, Aldridge had 30 points. That’s not too shabby. Oklahoma City is in a lot of trouble if they can’t fix this.
It’s hard to discredit this for the Thunder. They had good ball movement at times, but the shots were just not falling. Oklahoma City had 22 assists in a losing effort. I was very impressed by the ball movement. I’m curious to how high the assist total would be if a lot of shots would have fallen in the second half.
Thoughts on the game
- Russell Westbrook is back. only three turnovers, and that was trying to help this team come back from another double digit deficit. He had 22 points on eight made baskets. He also had eight assists. Probably could have more if shots were to fall, instead of rim out.
- Kevin Durant obviously struggled. He was average last night. Tonight, he was below average. He hit eight shots on 26 basket attempts. Not to mention he missed two of four free throw attemps. Very un-KD of him.
- Thunder went 16-21 from the free throw line. We missed five. How often do we miss five? I’ve said early on, don’t expect the Thunder to shoot 81% like last season, but this is bad guys, come on.
- Daequan Cook was obviously effected by his flu-like symptoms. He was 0-3 from three-point range, 1-5 overall for two points.
- Portland outscored the Thunder bench 25-14. Very obvious that it’s low due to Harden starting.
- Kendrick Perkins and Aldridge were in an altercation while head-to-head. Aldridge obviously said something that set Perkins off. Referees did a good job defusing the situations.
- Oklahoma City is struggling from deep. OKC is just 10-39 the last two games (25.6%). First five games for OKC? 40-96 for 41.6%.
- Thabo did not play with a sore foot.
- Is it me, or did OKC just look really lack luster? Didn’t see a lot of heart outside of Harden and RW tonight. Could’ve just been me.
- Not a lot to say, except the Thunder missed shots they should’ve made. Sometimes the shots don’t fall.
Oh, Check out Boom Shakalaka’s Portland View on tonight’s game.
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