Thunder 106, Trail Blazers 92

The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchange

OKLAHOMA CITY -- After watching his team fall in the final seconds of their season opener, Oklahoma City Thunder coach Scott Brooks wanted his team to forget about it. With 81 more games left on the schedule, he didn't want them dwelling on the loss.
The Thunder received the message, defeating the Portland Trail Blazers 106-92 at the Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City on Friday night.
Russell Westbrook, who had a terrible final minutes in the loss to the Spurs, had a huge night against the Trail Blazers. He accounted for 32 points on 13-of-24 shooting.
The Trail Blazers (1-1) were hoping to build off their season-opening win over the Los Angeles Lakers. But they shot only 36 percent from the field and allowed the Thunder (1-1) to hit a blistering 50.7 percent of its shots.
Yet Portland had its chances to steal the win. It trailed 80-75 with eight minutes left. But every time it made a run, Oklahoma City found a player to respond. Whether it was Westbrook, Kevin Durant or Kevin Martin, the Thunder had an answer. Its five-point advantage turned to double-digits with three minutes remaining, causing the arena to clear out.
In his first game at Oklahoma City since he was traded in the James Harden deal, Martin was 3-of-3 from behind the arc and knocked in 19 points.
While Durant had only 23 points, which is low for the three-time scoring champion, he hauled in 17 rebounds, one off his career high of 18. He has 35 rebounds combined in his first two games.
The Blazers had four players score in double figures led by rookie Damian Lillard. He posted 21 points and handed out seven assists. LaMarcus Aldridge scored 22 in the loss.
Oklahoma City led Portland 49-42 at halftime. Led by Durant and Westbrook, the Thunder was energized and aggressive to start the game. They attacked the Blazers' interior defense and the backboards, leading 40-33 late in the half.
But Wesley Matthews and Nicolas Batum hit back-to-back baskets to close gap to two points.
Then, Westbrook and Durant scored nine of the next 11 points to give Oklahoma City breathing room at the half.
Lillard continued his solid play, scoring 11 points. Matthews led the Blazers with 14 at the half.
Westbrook led all scorers with first half scorers 16 while Durant had 12 points and eight rebounds.
The Thunder's first-round pick, Perry Jones III, saw his first action of the season when he came off the bench and grabbed two rebounds in four minutes of play.
NOTES: Portland coach Terry Stotts made his return to the state for the first time as an NBA head coach. Stotts graduated from the University of Oklahoma in 1980 and averaged 16.9 points and 4.6 rebounds and was named to the All-Big Eight team his senior year. ... Trail Blazers backup point guard Ronnie Price missed his second consecutive game as he continued to recover from an ankle sprain he suffered during the exhibition season. ... After being called up from Oklahoma City's D-League affiliate Tulsa 66ers, Daniel Orton failed to suit up for the second game in a row. Orton is a native of Oklahoma City and graduated from Bishop McGuiness before going to Kentucky. He was drafted by the Orlando Magic. ... While Oklahoma City coach Scott Brooks was not happy that his team lost its season opener to San Antonio Thursday, he does like that his teams are in close games. "Game 1 out of 82 and it felt like a playoff game," Brooks said. "I think it's good for us to have these emotional tough games. But 81 more of those games will take its toll on me. I don't know about (the players)."

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