The Blazers’ up and down season continued with an up and down game against the Oklahoma City Thunder, ultimately resulting in another downer, losing 105-99.
The Blazers were led by Damian Lillard with 29 points . The Thunder were led by, who else, Russell Westbrook with 42 points and 8 assists.
Despite turning the ball over six times, being thoroughly outplayed in the paint, and suffering through a nearly five-minute long scoring drought in the first period, the Blazers were still game thanks to an 8-0 run by Damian Lillard to keep the Blazers close.
Trailing by eight after one, CJ McCollum and Allen Crabbe rallied Portland to an early lead in the second. The Blazers whipped the ball around the court to find open shooters, hitting 8-14 from three while limiting the turnovers to just one in outscoring the Thunder 36-22 to take a halftime lead.
Damian Lillard led the Blazers with 16 points. Russell Westbrook was mostly contained for the Thunder with 11 points and 6 assists on 4-13 shooting.
Warning: This move by CJ McCollum on Victor Oladipo may be too graphic for some viewers.
Halftime: Portland 52, Oklahoma City 46
After scoring only two points in the second, Westbrook awoke to propel the Thunder in a back and forth third period. The Blazers were victims of the turnover bug once more, coughing up the lead, but the Blazers ended the quarter with a defensive stop leading to an easy transition dunk by Moe Harkless to take a two point lead.
The Thunder grabbed a quick six point lead to open the fourth, but the Blazers bounced back on the shooting of Lillard once again. The Thunder had a lead of eight late in the game with Westbrook taking control of the game for Oklahoma City.
CJ hit a three to cut the lead to three with two minutes remaining. The Blazers followed the next few possessions with nothing to show for it and Westbrook hit a dagger three with just over a minute left. The Blazers couldn’t get any more stops in the final two minutes and Westbrook iced the game at the free throw line. The Blazers lose the opener of a three game road trip.
Plumlee packs it home to keep the game alive pic.twitter.com/9yb2PnEjRe— CSN Northwest (@CSNNW) February 5, 2017
Full highlights via Comcast SportsNet Northwest:
The Blazers travel to Dallas on Tuesday evening to take on the Mavericks. Tip off is at 5:30 pm. Stay tuned to Blazers Edge tonight, for extended analysis of this game by Dave Deckard.
But the Blazers need to make a run, in a hurry. This season is slipping away, and the West is much tougher than last year.