PORTLAND, Ore. — The comparisons to the Portland Trail Blazers remain a constant for the Thunder. But the Blazers used Monday’s game at the Rose Garden to prove once again that Oklahoma City has a long way to go before coming anywhere close to resembling the talented young squad that resides in the Great Northwest.
Portland led the Thunder by as many as 35 points, and the final horn in the 113-83 thrashing proved to be the only thing that could stop the Blazers.
Portland shot 51.1 percent and had five players score in double digits, led by forward Travis Outlaw’s game-high 21 points. Brandon Roy scored 20 points and Greg Oden scored 16 with nine rebounds in 20 minutes off the bench.
“We’re just not mature enough yet to beat a team like that at home,” said Nick Collison, who returned from a two-game absence caused by a thigh injury. “They play like adults and we don’t play like that sometimes. We don’t share the ball and we try to force things. Defensively, we were bad too.
“We have potential to be good. But there’s a huge difference between having potential to be a playoff team and actually being a playoff team.”
The Blazers (53-28) recorded their second blowout victory in 11 days against the Thunder. Portland came into the Ford Center on April 3 and notched a 107-72 victory, holding OKC to a season-low in points.
On Monday, the Blazers raced to a 14-point lead after the first quarter, a 31-point lead at the half and entered the fourth ahead 85-55. Portland’s lead swelled to 98-63 with 6:22 remaining and 108-73 with 2:54 left to play.
“They’re playing with a purpose,” said Earl Watson. “They’re playing to try to get better seeding in the playoff race. It’s so close in the West so they came out with a different mindset, a different intensity.