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OKC Jumps on Blazers early, cruise to 111-95 win.

Oklahoma City wasted no time rebounding from Friday’s debacle against the Spurs. Oklahoma City defeated the new-look Portland Trail Blazers 111-95 in a game where the Thunder never trailed. In fact, The Thunder only had one tie in the ball game at 10-10 in the first quarter. From that point on, Oklahoma City was all game.

The Thunder shot 55.4 percent from the field, led by double digits for most of the final 39 minutes and improved their record to 34-11, best in the Western Conference.

Oklahoma City’s defense was pretty spectacular for most of the game. The Thunder held the Portland Trail Blazers to just 6-23 shooting in the first quarter in building a 31-15 lead to end the first quarter.

The Thunder continued to build a lead, pushing it to as much as 19 points in the first half at 50-31. Oklahoma City helped maintain a double-digit lead heading into half time at 57-42.

Portland closed within 75-63 with 2:27 left in the third quarter after a 3-pointer by Crawford, who scored all but four of his points after halftime and kept the Blazers within striking distance.

Crawford missed another 3-point attempt moments later that would have pulled the Blazers within 10 points. The Thunder quickly rebuilt their advantage to 81-63 on a 3-pointer by Harden, but Portland went on a 13-3 run before Oklahoma City finally pulled away.

Post Game Grades

Kevin Durant: A
Kevin Durant really played well. He was 9-17 from the floor and rivaled a triple-double. He was impressive on the defense floor as well grabbing three steals. He was a game high of +23.

Shoot it deep!: A
The Thunder were 11-18 from three-point range for 61.1%. They were 9-13 at one point during the game. They finished just 2-5, but that seems so far fetched at this point. This was easily one of the best games from behind the arc.

Rebound: B+
Oklahoma City dominated the glass wining 43-35 overall. They did allow 11 offensive rebounds, but that’s minuscule compared to what Oklahoma city usually allows.  Overall, it was a great game on the glass.

Thunder Thoughts

  • The three point shooting was just so great tonight. Thabo Sefolosha was 3-3 from the arc and he looks like he is ready for more time. I am just so impressed that he is coming back so quickly.
  • How great was Kevin Durant tonight? He looked like the two-time scoring champion tonight. Nicholas Batum usually has great defense on Durant, but could not contain him tonight. Almost worthy of that MVP chant at the end of the game.
  • The Thunder were just deplorable at the line tonight. 18-28.  I don’t know what it was, just wasn’t one of our nights from the charity stripe.
  • All-Star Lamarcus Aldridge was really held in check tonight. The Thunder interior core was just phenomenal tonight. Aldridge came into tonight’s game averaging 34.5 points against the Thunder. he had just 15 points on 6 of 19 shooting.
  • Russell Westbrook played well tonight. He had zero turnovers. He had 28 points, 5 assists. Finished 2-3 from three-point range.
  • James Harden went to the line 14 times tonight. He was really just great at being aggressive and driving to the basket.
  • The crowd was into it right at the beginning. Really made up for it from Friday night. Highly impressed by how late a lot of them stayed. Darnell Mayberry alluded to some leaving early. Don’t blame them either. I had a little girl asleep in front of me for more than 3 quarters. I’m impressed by how she slept through the crowd noise.

Next up: Tuesday, another late tip-off against the Jazz.

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