Share “OKC Thunder: Blazers' duo of Raymond...”

OKC Thunder: Blazers' duo of Raymond Felton and LaMarcus Aldridge outshine OKC's Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook

Oklahoma City was held to 34 percent shooting in the second half as it dropped its second straight game.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: January 3, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY —There was a pretty good chance that a point guard and a forward would dominate Tuesday's matchup between the Thunder and the Portland Trail Blazers.

It just didn't end up being the duo you might have thought it would be.

Raymond Felton and LaMarcus Aldridge outplayed and outshined Oklahoma City All-Stars Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, carving up them and the Thunder in an almost flawless two-man game that triggered a 103-93 loss inside Chesapeake Energy Arena.

It was the Thunder's second straight defeat, dropping OKC to 5-2 after opening the season with a five-game winning streak.

Aldridge, the Blazers' sharp-shooting 6-foot-11 power forward, toyed with the Thunder to the tune of a game-high 30 points to go with eight rebounds. He scored on an array of lob passes, pick-and-rolls and mid-range jumpers out of pick-and-pops orchestrated by Felton, the team's point guard who casually and confidently controlled the tempo. Felton finished with 12 points, seven assists and four rebounds while turning it over only once.

“Felton was really aggressive tonight,” said Thunder forward Nick Collison. “He was attacking and coming off that ball screen very hard and dragging out the big…He was coming at us all night. We weren't getting there early enough and we weren't getting over the screens well enough to get back to him.”

As a result, the Blazers had their way offensively. Portland scored on 10 of its final 21, converting either foul shots or field goals. The Blazers led by just three when Felton returned with 9:50 remaining but promptly peeled off a 16-7 run over the next seven minutes before outscoring the Thunder 21-14 down the stretch. Felton scored or assisted on eight points during the spurt.

“The thing about them is they really play well together, move the ball and they find that open guy,” Collison said.

Continue reading this story on the...