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Recap: Oklahoma City Dumps Blazers In Final Minutes, Wins 123-114

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Well, that was an unpleasant fourth quarter.

NBA: Portland Trail Blazers at Oklahoma City Thunder Alonzo Adams-USA TODAY Sports

Well, the fun Jazz game is now in the rear view mirror. Portland rolled into Oklahoma City feeling good, and left smarting from a 123-114 loss that left them frustrated and a little confused. The top-heavy Blazers couldn’t handle OKC’s swarming defense, and their MVP candidate, who is not named Russ anymore. Here are a few essentials from tonight’s downer.

  • The Big Three Have Big Nights. But... Lillard, McCollum, and Nurkic took care of business against OKC. Unfortunately, that was it. The rest of the team was utterly invisible, and left the Big Three to carry the load. It wasn’t enough. They combined for 87 points, 14 rebounds, 12 assists and 6 steals (5 from Lillard).
  • What could have been. Paul George, who was traded to OKC while Portland had no real tradeable assets, then re-signed there, is getting “MVP” chants from the home crowd, and for good reason. He destroyed the Blazers at both ends, finishing with 36 points, 8 rebounds, 4 assists, and 5 steals.
  • The Incredible Shrinking Forwards. Starting forwards Al-Farouq Aminu and Moe Harkless combined for 4 points. Two of those four came when Aminu dunked with four seconds left while an indifferent OKC just stared at him and wondered what he was doing. They played defense, and combined for 16 rebounds (13 from Aminu), but they’re not defending like Andre Roberson, so it was not a recipe for success.

Box Score (via NBA.com)

What’s Next

The Blazers finish their short road trip Thursday in Phoenix.