OKC Thunder loses for first time on New Year's Eve

by Darnell Mayberry and Anthony Slater Published: December 31, 2013
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 The Blazers also hired Chris Stackpole, a former Thunder strength and conditioning intern, to be their strength coach.

BLAZERS DEFENSE A WORRY DESPITE WIN

 The explosive Portland offense, which averages an NBA-best 108.6 points per game, consistently keeps the Blazers in games.

 But their bottom-tier defense, which gives up 102.9 points per game (fourth most in the NBA), continuously keeps opposing teams in games.

 And when discussing their legitimacy as title contenders, that's the obvious factor that gives you pause.

 “We're worried about our defense,” Stotts admitted before the game. “Our defense is trending in the wrong direction.”

 But on Tuesday night, Portland had one of its best defensive performances of the season, holding the Thunder to 94 points on 44 percent shooting.

 STAT OF THE GAME

 The Thunder finished December 0-2 against Portland and 14-1 against everybody else.

 UP NEXT

 The Thunder wraps up this three-game homestand on Thursday against the struggling Brooklyn Nets. Tip is at 7 p.m.


by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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