PORTLAND, Ore. — Entering the NBA season, preseason pundits pegged six teams as legitimate contenders in a loaded Western Conference.
The Portland Trail Blazers were not thought to be one of them.
A little more than a month later, while still admittedly early, that narrative is beginning to shift a bit.
And the latest reason came Wednesday night, when the Blazers overcame a double-digit, second half deficit to burst past the Thunder for an impressive 111-104 win.
The victory broke OKC's league-best eight-game win streak and improved Portland's record to 16-3, stamping them alone atop the West.
“They just got good chemistry,” Kevin Durant said. “They put together a nice group of guys, mixed in some veterans with some young guys and have the kind of core you want to have.”
It was a big win for the Blazers but certainly not their only one of the young season. Portland also has victories over the 15-3 Spurs and 16-2 Pacers.
But Wednesday night's outcome might have been the most impressive, if only because of the exceptional individual performance that backed them.