Making another case for MVP, Russell Westbrook put on a show at the Moda Center, but it was the late play of Jusuf Nurkic and Damian Lillard that led the Blazers to a 114-109 win, despite another near meltdown by Portland at the end.
The Blazers were led by Damian Lillard 33 points and Jusuf Nurkic with 18 points, 12 rebounds, 5 blocks and 6 assists. The Thunder were led by Russell Westbrook with 45 points.
The Blazers got off to a sizzling start, jumping to an early 20-8 lead, but led only 26-24 after one quarter. Jusuf Nurkic (8 points in the half) and Damian Lillard (14 points) paved the way early for the Blazers, but Russell Westbrook continued to do his MVP thing, scoring 27 points to go along with four rebounds and three assists. The Blazers used a late run in the second to grab a nine point lead but Westrbrook went on his own 9-0 run to tie the game. To make things slightly worse, the Blazers turned it over in the final seconds, resulting in a 61 foot heave by Taj Gibson that found the bottom of the net to give the Thunder the lead at the half. Seriously.
Dame with the smooth reverse finish pic.twitter.com/2huv1MyX3f— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 3, 2017
Halftime: Portland 57, Oklahoma City 60
Westbrook continued his scoring onslaught, netting 33 by the 10 minute mark. Despite the Westbrook Show, the Blazers hung close, thanks to a Thunder scoring drought and some fantastic drives by Lillard who scored 12 in the third. Heading into the fourth, Westbrook had 40 of the starting lineup’s 44 points for the Thunder.
Nurkic continued his impressive play with the Blazers in the fourth, his five straight points cutting the deficit to just two with over four minutes to play to go along with a career high five blocks and six assists (and 12 rebounds). Nurkic then gave the Blazers a 103-101 lead off a tip-in from a missed free throw. Lillard then followed with a three to give Portland a five point lead late. The Blazers used a 16-0 run to grab a nine point lead before giving an invitation to the Thunder to steal away a win and further the heartache of Blazers fans. But, the Blazers hang on down the stretch, as Westbrook finally missed a couple clutch shots late.
Like father, like son.— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 3, 2017
Domantas Sabonis with the nice feed for the SLAM! pic.twitter.com/uI3urB6ww8
Fan showing his best Taj Gibson impression to win a car:
Not 1, but 2 half court shots made at the Moda Center tonight pic.twitter.com/a5tazkElMU— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 3, 2017
CJ with the find, Aminu with the reverse dunk pic.twitter.com/FZxS24w3jP— NBA on TNT (@NBAonTNT) March 3, 2017
Meyers Leonard's reaction to Dame's big 3 lol pic.twitter.com/bTUSzIRlMw— AGENT OF NBA CHAOS (@World_Wide_Wob) March 3, 2017
The Blazers have one day off before they take on the Brooklyn Nets this Saturday night at the Moda Center. Tip off is at 7 PM. Stay tuned to Blazer's Edge tonight, for extended analysis of this game from Eric Griffith.