The Portland Trail Blazers didn’t roll over and die, but didn’t show much fight either, getting run over by the Oklahoma City Thunder on the road 120-111. It was not as close as the score suggests.
Portland looked hapless through about the first 32 minutes before ripping off an almost hope inspiring 10-0 run to close within five at 87-82 heading into the fourth quarter. The rally ended there, however, as Oklahoma City led by Paul George asserted full control in the final frame and easily sent the Blazers packing with a third straight loss.
Random thoughts and takeaways
Another tier. The Thunder are just in a zone right now. Not even accounting for playing in the second of a road back-to-back, Portland walked into a buzzsaw with Oklahoma City winning 11 of its last 12 games and the Blazers unfortunate enough to catch them twice during that span. George is playing at an MVP level and put in work again tonight with a 47 point triple-double, 17 of which he had in the first quarter. He just came off a 45 point game against the Celtics. George is just not a guy you want go to be going up against right now.
Case of the Mondays. Perhaps still a bit tender from Sunday’s Last Two Minute Report against the Mavericks, Portland showed (deservedly) less patience with the officials than usual. CJ McCollum drew a rare tech and Damian Lillard came awfully close several times (still waiting on that first ejection - at this point he’s more than earned his Sheed moment) as both got the referees’ ears early on and didn’t let up. It’s tough to say if the chirpiness actually went to accomplish anything, but time and again we’ve seen the technique pay off for the Chris Pauls and Draymond Greens of the world, so what the heck, might as well give it a shot.
The good news: the Blazers will get a lone reprieve within the friendly confines of the Moda Center before embarking on a grueling seven-game road trip later this week - The bad news: they will be hosting the Golden State Warriors on national TV. Tip is set for 7:30 pm Wednesday.