Meyers Leonard set a career-high with 24 points, Chris Kaman had 14 points, but the Portland Trail Blazers lost two more players to injury on the road, losing to the Oklahoma City Thunder, 101-90 Monday night at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.
As if things could not get worse for the Blazers as of late, everything went badly for Portland in the first quarter. Oklahoma City grabbed nine offensive rebounds leading to eleven points, out-rebounded the Blazers 19-6 in the period, and seized a 16 point lead behind Russell Westbrook and Enes Kanter. Even worse, at the four minute mark of the period, Nicolas Batum landed awkwardly trying for a rebound, and was helped by trainers to the locker room. Kaman led the scoring with eight, but Portland trailed by 14 after one.
With their available players rapidly shrinking, the Blazers defense clamped down in the second period. The Thunder shot just 5-of-22 in the period and what was left of the Portland roster rallied to get within five. Joel Freeland led the scoring with six, Leonard added five to finish with 12 at halftime, and somehow the Blazers stayed close. They would trail by seven at halftime. Near the end of the period, Westbrook stepped on CJ McCollum's ankle. McCollum would not return. Kaman also left the game without returning. The Oregonian's Joe Freeman reported that Kaman "tweaked his back".
Westbrook and Kanter went back to work in the third quarter, accounting for 22 of Oklahoma City's 32 points. Freeland and Alonzo Gee had six for the Blazers, but the starters (those remaining, at least) continued to struggle, and the Thunder led by 11 after three.
The unsung heroes tried one last time to get Portland back into the game. Leonard had eight, Gee and Allen Crabbe scored quick baskets, and the Blazers closed to within six. But a three by Anthony Morrow and a series of favorable calls for Westbrook put the game out of reach.
Joel Freeland set a career-high with 16 points off the bench. Lillard had just 10 points and 6 assists. Blazer guards shot just 6-of-25 in the game.
Chris Kaman confirms: He tweaked his back.— Joe Freeman (@BlazerFreeman) April 14, 2015
Batum says he doesn't think he'll play on Wednesday, which seems somewhat obvious— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) April 14, 2015
CJ McCollum downplayed his left ankle sprain a bit, said it wasn't bad enough to get an MRI. Said he's not sure if he'll play Wednesday.— Casey Holdahl (@CHold) April 14, 2015