It was another lowly performance from the Oklahoma City Thunder, as they lost 117-106 to the Portland Trailblazers on their home floor. They will enter tomorrow night, on a second night of a back to back, on a two game losing streak. This one hurts even more considering there was no Damian Lillard on the court for Portland.
The Thunder once again, with Roberson still out from injury, played awful defense giving up wide-open looks from deep and too many easy buckets underneath. Combine that with 14 Thunder turnovers and poor shooting from the floor, that will get Oklahoma City beat every time.
It was a pretty ugly first half from both teams, as they combined to turn the ball over 19 times while both teams also shot well under 50 percent from the floor.
Oklahoma City falls to 22-19 on the season, their third worst record in franchise history at the midway point.
It was the Thunder’s infamous second half meltdown that showed up once again, that led to the Blazers extending their lead to double digits midway through the third. Blazers led by as much as 20 at one point in the second half.
Even with Roberson out, the defense lacked energy and effort. Thunder all night long were late on rotations while also giving up many second chances on the offensive glass. They all around got out-hustled on that end of the floor.
“In last couple games we’ve really struggled defensively and that’s an area we really need to get back to” Billy Donovan opened up with. “The last 6 or 8 games defensively, we have had some slippage,” Donovan said.
Oklahoma City was outscored 36 to 25 in the third quarter, and Portland never looked back. CJ McCollum led the way, as he finished with 27 points on better than 50 percent shooting from the floor. Nurkic and Shabazz Napier also brought their best game, both putting up 21 and 20 points, respectively.
Offensively, the Thunder’s big three all shot under 50 percent from the floor, as the Thunder shot just 44 percent as a whole.
The big three had their moments, but it wasn’t enough, as Oklahoma City just could not get stops. George and Westbrook put up 22 points each, while Carmelo put up 19 points of his own. Adams also chipped in with 16 points.
Portland while struggling offensively in the first half, found their rhythm after halftime. They put up 63 second half points on better than 60 percent from the floor. Give them credit, as they hit some tough shots, but also seemed to get open looks all night long.
The Thunder have some glaring issues, mainly the second half meltdowns, as well as playing down to their opponents. That was much of the case tonight, as Portland was without their star player in Lillard, but nevertheless, seemed like the better team for most of the game.
After dropping these two very winnable games, the Thunder are now in danger of dropping three in a row, as they will go on the road to face a tough Minnesota team tomorrow night. Again, they will be without Roberson, and will need to find some answers defensively quickly if they want to come out on top tomorrow night.
Keys to the game
Win the third quarter: F
This one is obvious, as this was the quarter the Blazers blew it open. Thunder were outscored by 11, and had no life after the third quarter.
With Andre Roberson, this one is extra important but the Thunder couldn’t come through on this one. They gave up 117 points, and were just awful defensively in that second half.
Bad grades all around, as the Thunder were out-rebounded by the Blazers, while also giving up too many second chances on the offensive glass. Thunder did pull down 11 offensive rebounds of their own, but obviously it wasn’t enough to not get beat by double digits on their home floor.We invite you to follow Thunder Digest on Twitter and like Thunder Digest on Facebook. Our Podcast is on iTunes. We also have a Thunder Digest Instagram account if you love fun Thunder photography!