The Blazers weren't really led by any player. Damian Lillard struggled all night, his numbers (10 points, 8 assists) salvaged by a late burst. Will Barton once again led the team in scoring, with 18, and LaMarcus Aldridge, Eric Maynor and Meyers Leonard (12, 11, and 10 points respectively) also scored in double figures.
First Quarter: Surprisingly, despite a high shooting percentage by OKC (shocking development!), Portland kept the game close through the first half of the quarter. In fact, things were going so smoothly that-- oh, nevermind, 13 point lead for OKC. It didn't take long for them to pull away and--- wait, what? The Blazer bench responded with a 9-2 run to close the quarter, forcing OKC on their heels, while Lillard went scoreless? I give up, this quarter was unpredictable. Score: OKC 30, Portland 26.
Wow. What does Lillard have to do to get a foul call?
Second Quarter: Will Barton quickly cut the lead to 2, but by the time you were back from getting a drink, OKC made it 11 again. They held a comfortable lead for most of the quarter, when Blazers Coach Terry Stotts went to his secret weapon: A lineup featuring Barton, Claver, and Sasha Pavlovic. Before OKC knew what hit them, their lead was gone, Barton was dunking, Claver was hitting the three, and it was time for a timeout. But the Blazers were energized, as Barton pulled a Dr. J (Seriously, you'll see the video soon) and Freeland started hitting bank shots. And with seconds left, Lillard scored his first two points! But a buzzer-beating Thabo Sefalosha three-pointer gave OKC a precarious halftime lead. Score: OKC 55, Portland 54.
We're not down 26!
by Chuck Nevitt
Third Quarter: Well, it was fun while it lasted. The Blazers missed their first 8 shots, while OKC relaxed and pushed the lead to 10. The Blazers got on the board, but it was followed by turnover after turnover, as OKC patrolled the passing lanes. That led to easy layups, and combined with minimal Blazer scoring (7 in the quarter) a 20 point lead. And that's how the quarter ended, not with a bang but a whimper. Score: OKC 81, Portland 61.
Every rose has its thorn. And Damian’s thorn appears to be Russ Westbrook.
Fourth Quarter: Let's be honest here. OKC got lazy, so Lillard and Barton sparked a late run. Once they started caring again, OKC quickly put a stop to it, and that was it. The Blazers hit the road, headed on their last trip of the year.
Stay tuned for more analysis from Blazer’s Edge later tonight. In the meantime, check out the upcoming Blazers schedule. -- Tim