Riding a five-game winning streak and winners of nine of their last 11, the Oklahoma City Thunder took advantage of a variety of turnovers and missed shots by the Portland Trail Blazers to win their sixth straight, 106-90.
The Thunder were led by Kevin Durant, who scored 24 points on the night. Steven Adams and Enes Kanter both had double doubles for the Thunder. C.J. McCollum was the high man for the Blazers with 24 points. In one of the sloppiest games of the year, the two teams combined for 37 turnovers.
While Oklahoma City was clearly the hot team coming into the game, it was C.J. McCollum with the hot hand to start the night. McCollum was on fire to start the first quarter, hitting a pair of three pointers and a few long jumpers en route to 12 points in the first six minutes.
But while McCollum was jump shooting Portland to an early 15-12 lead, Oklahoma City took it to the paint to get back on track. A combination of Steven Adams, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka buckets inside got Oklahoma City back in order. Portland's bench didn't do the team any favors, producing a variety of turnovers and porous defense.
Lillard did his best McCollum impression to end the quarter, but the Thunder still managed to win a sloppy first 12 minutes on 59% shooting.
End of First: Oklahoma City 31, Portland 26
The second quarter eerily resembled a grade school Kick ‘n' Chase soccer game, where Dave was surely screaming "Spread Out!" to be heard in Oklahoma.
After the Blazers shot a respectable 45% in the first quarter, the second started on a cold streak. Portland missed their first six shots, plus managed a slew of early turnovers. OKC capitalized, extending their lead to double digits. The shooting struggles continued throughout the quarter for the Blazers while the Thunder started wearing out the free throw line. In all, the Blazers managed just six points in the first nine minutes of the quarter.
But thankfully for Blazer fans, Lillard Time came slightly early on Wednesday night. Over the final three minutes, Portland went on a roll, scoring 12 points, nine of which were on three Lillard triples over the final 62 seconds. Though they amassed eight turnovers in the second and seemingly couldn't buy a basket, OKC never capitalized and took a mere seven point lead into halftime.
Halftime: Oklahoma City 52, Portland 45
The third quarter started much like the second: With a turnover. But this time around, the Thunder didn't let the sloppy play go to waste. After a crisp start, the Thunder went on a 10-2 run in the first two minutes to extend the lead to 15.
It was also only a matter of time before Durant found his groove and the third quarter was that moment. KD was the head of a snake that torched the Blazers in the quarter to the tune of 36 points, 15 of which were by Durant himself.
End of Third: Oklahoma City 88, Portland 67
Once the Thunder opened the quarter with a three pointer, the final period seemed like merely a formality. Lightly used Tim Frazier got some run at the start of the quarter to spell Lillard, while the Blazer bench worked hard to keep it as close as possible.
By the end, the Blazers had fully emptied the bench. Lillard didn't see any playing time in the fourth quarter while Pat Connaughton saw his first action since late November. The Blazers made a few runs, but nothing to truly threaten the Thunder.
Final: Oklahoma 106, Portland 90