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Thunder 105, Trail Blazers 97

The SportsXchange

OKLAHOMA CITY -- Forward Kevin Durant scored 46 points to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to a 105-97 victory over the Portland Trail Blazers on Tuesday at the Chesapeake Energy Arena.

Durant scored more than 30 points in eight straight games.

With the win, the Thunder (32-10) take the lead in the Northwest Division from the Blazers (32-10).

Despite terrible free throw shooting in the fourth quarter, the Thunder only trailed 95-92 with three minutes left in the game. But Durant quickly changed that when he hit a 3-pointer from top of the key.

After forcing Blazers into a turnover, guard Reggie Jackson hit a teardrop in the lane to put Oklahoma City up by two. After another empty Portland possession, it was center Kendrick Perkins hitting a baseline jumper to give Thunder 99-95 advantage.

Yet, it was Durant who shut the game down when he drained back-to-back 3-pointers in forward Nicolas Batum's face to put the contest away.

Along with his 46 points, Durant added five rebounds and four assists. Jackson posted 15 points and seven rebounds while guard Derek Fisher came off the bench to score 10 points.

Forward LaMarcus Aldridge paced Portland with 29 points and 16 rebounds. Guard Wesley Matthews added 21 points on 7-for-15 shooting.

Despite being on the road, it was the Blazers who got off to the quick start. They had an 11-2 lead minutes into the contest.

Aldridge was the main culprit throughout the opening period as he worked on Thunder big men. Forwards Serge Ibaka, Nick Collison and Steven Adams all took turns trying to slow him down, but they were at his mercy early.

Despite 15 first quarter points from Durant, the Blazers held a 27-21 advantage heading into the second period.

Ibaka and Jackson started to down shots in the second quarter to close the gap on Portland. But it was guard Thabo Sefolosha who hit a jumper with 8.3 seconds left to give Oklahoma City its first lead of the contest.

However, guard Damian Lillard took it right back when he drove the court and made a layup to close out the first half with the Blazers leading 52-51.

NOTES: Oklahoma City Thunder F Kevin Durant was named NBA Western Conference Players of the Week for games played Jan. 13- 19. He led the Thunder to a 3-1 record. He averaged a league-best 39.3 points, and added 6.5 assists and 4.8 rebounds. This is the third time this year Durant has won the award and the 15th since the 2009-10 season. That is the most in the conference over that time span. "He's in a good place offensively," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. "I think the numbers state that. But I think he's in a good frame as just a playmaker." ... Portland coach Terry Stotts likes what he has seen from rookie G C.J. McCollum through the six games he's played in this season. "He is doing well," Stotts said. "It's an adjustment for a guy who has really played since Summer League. It's been an adjustment for him to first get back on a court, then an NBA court." ... Starting with Portland, Oklahoma City will play four games in five days. But Brooks doesn't plan to alter minutes. "We've always just focused on the game and then worry about the next night," Brooks said. "We have a pretty deep team."

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