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.
Meanwhile, the Thunder was stuck in mud.
Durant had a horrid night, scoring just 19 points on 8-for-26 shooting. He was 1-for-5 in the fourth quarter. Westbrook finished with 22 points, eight assists and six rebounds but went 8-for-18 and allowed Felton to find seams rather seamlessly.
“They were being a lot more aggressive than usual, feeling that that's the scouting report on us,” said Daequan Cook, who returned after a one-game absence due to illness, of the Blazers' defense.
Portland did a particularly good job at cutting Durant off. The Blazers clogged the paint each time Durant caught the ball and shut off his lane to the basket. With forward Gerald Wallace providing physical defense on Durant to start, the Blazers backed up Wallace with four sets of eyes all monitoring Durant's every move.
As the game went along, Durant, who started 2-for-9, never found his rhythm and ultimately began settling for outside shots.
“That's what every team does,” Durant said. “But I still find a way. I got some good looks, actually, shots that I've been working on. Some didn't fall. But they do a great job on defense. I can't take nothing away from them.”
James Harden, who started in place of an ill Thabo Sefolosha, was the only other Thunder player to score in double digits. He finished with 23 points, three shy of tying his career-high, on 7-for-13 shooting.
But the Thunder's offense bogged down in the second half after OKC led by two at the break. The Blazers outscored the Thunder 52-40 after intermission.
“It just tells us one thing,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks, “that we have to get better.”