LaMarcus Aldridge, Damian Lillard push Trail Blazers over Thunder

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In an impressive all-around performance, Damian Lillard put up 21 points and registered 11 assists and 6 rebounds to help the Portland Trail Blazers sneak past the Oklahoma City Thunder, 98-94. The Trail Blazers put together a very efficient performance, turning it over on only six possessions while totaling 26 assists. Portland (25-7) has now won seven of their last 10 games.

Lillard went 6-15 (4-10 from three-point range) and 5-5 from the free throw line. Other top contributors for Portland included LaMarcus Aldridge with 25 points and 14 rebounds, Wesley Matthews with 16 points and 7 rebounds, and Robin Lopez with 12 points and 5 rebounds. Kevin Durant had another big game for Oklahoma City in the loss, putting up 37 points on 12-26 shooting (3-9 on 3-point attempts), in addition to going 10-12 from the free throw line. He also registered 14 rebounds. Reggie Jackson chipped in 12 points and 7 rebounds and Jeremy Lamb finished with 10 points and 6 rebounds.

From a turnover perspective, this one played out like the numbers predicted. Portland, ranked fifth in the NBA at avoiding miscues (TO% of 13.6%) protected the ball well in this game (6.3%). Likewise, the defense of Oklahoma City is still struggling to force turnovers, with their opponents surrendering the third-fewest in the league this season (13.8%). The Trail Blazers posted a sterling assist-to-turnover ratio of 4.33. This year, they are 3-1 when they exceed 2.50 in this metric. Conversely, the Thunder are 2-2 when allowing their opponents to achieve such a stellar ratio.

This defeat means an end to a three-game winning streak for Oklahoma City, pushing their record to 25-6 for the year.

Coming up, the Trail Blazers square off with the Charlotte Bobcats, who are 14-18 on the season. The Thunder match up with the Brooklyn Nets, currently sitting at 10-21 this year.

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