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Thunder 87, Trail Blazers 83

The SportsXchange

PORTLAND, Ore. -- Kevin Durant scored 22 of his 33 points in the second half to lift the Oklahoma City Thunder past the Portland Trail Blazers 87-83 Sunday night at the Rose Garden.

It was the eighth win in 10 games and 20th in the past 25 outings for the Thunder (29-8). The Blazers, who won 12 of their previous 16 games, saw their nine-game home winning streak end.

Portland's LaMarcus Aldridge scored a season-high 33 points and grabbed 11 rebounds -- his 17th double-double of the season -- but missed a shot in the closing seconds that could have forced overtime.

Nicolas Batum added 21 points and seven rebounds for the Blazers (20-17).

It was a rough night offensively for both starting point guards. Oklahoma City's Russell Westbrook had 18 points, eight rebounds and nine assists but shot 5-for-21 from the field. Portland rookie Damian Lillard, who scored a season-high 37 points in Friday's loss at Golden State, finished with nine points and nine assists with a 3-for-14 shooting performance.

Trailing by a point at halftime, Oklahoma City opened a 63-52 lead midway through the third quarter, Durant scoring 11 of the Thunder's 21 points in the run. He finished with 13 points in the quarter, sending Oklahoma City into the final period ahead 68-59.

The Thunder led 84-74 with 3:20 remaining, but the Blazers scored the next six points, Batum's put-back making it 84-80 with 1:55 left.

Neither team scored again until Batum nailed a 3-pointer with 16 seconds to play.

Westbrook was stripped as the Thunder brought the ball upcourt -- he thought he was fouled -- but Batum's driving layup missed. Oklahoma City center Kendrick Perkins was fouled on the rebound with 8.5 seconds to go. He missed the first free throw, then made the second to give Thunder an 85-83 lead.

After a timeout, Aldridge launched a turnaround, 18-foot air-ball. Westbrook was fouled on the rebound and, with 1.7 seconds left, he sank two foul shots to ice the win for the Thunder.

Portland led 43-42 in the first half after falling behind 10-3 early. The Blazers were in front despite shooting .349 from the field and getting outscored in points in the paint (30-14) and fast-break points (5-0). Aldridge had 13 points and six rebounds to lead the Blazers before the break.

For the game, the Thunder wound up with a 46-30 advantage on points in the paint.

NOTES: The Thunder beat the Blazers for the fifth consecutive time. ... Oklahoma City power forward Serge Ibaka, who suffered a chest contusion in Friday's win over the Los Angeles Lakers at Staples Center, missed Sunday's game. Nick Collison started in his place and scored eight points. Coach Scott Brooks decided to go small, with Durant -- who had 17 rebounds in the Thunder's 106-92 win over Portland on Nov. 2 -- sliding to the 4-spot and Kevin Martin getting more time with the first unit. ... Portland launched a franchise-record 43 3-point attempts in the 103-97 loss to the Warriors, making 15. Too many attempts from beyond the arc? "In that game, no," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "In the second half, we were 11-for-22. I'll take that all day. I don't go into a game saying we'll shoot 43 3s, but there weren't too many bad ones. I want our guys to have the confidence to shoot them. We wouldn't have made it a game if we hadn't shot all those 3s."
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