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Portland snaps OKC Thunder's winning streak in impressive fashion

by Anthony Slater Published: December 5, 2013

In 37 dominant minutes, LaMarcus Aldridge torched the Thunder front line, compiling 38 points, 13 rebounds and five assists — only one less than the Thunder's entire starting lineup.

“An All-Star having an All-Star night,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “He made 17 field goals, all were well-contested. But when you're hot like he was tonight, (it doesn't) matter what you do.”

And the Thunder did try a few different tactics on Aldridge, going small for a portion of the fourth quarter, before scrapping the idea when he continually took advantage of Serge Ibaka. Brooks reinserted Kendrick Perkins in the final minutes — a rare thing these days, which tells you plenty about Aldridge's impact — to guard the Blazers' big man.

But it didn't matter.

“He was shooting turnarounds from almost the three-point line on top of our bigs,” Kevin Durant said. “He was knocking them down and that's what great players do … It looked like it was great defense on our part, but better offense.”

On this night, in this building, where Portland is now 8-1, Aldridge was just too much. And so were the Blazers, who are rapidly becoming a national media darling.

There's no telling if it will continue, but for now it seems clear that the Blazers have at least entered the convoluted conversation.

“There's a handful of teams,” Brooks said. “It's the West, they're all top teams. You're not going to have an easy game … But they're a good team.”

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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