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Thunder beat Blazers 106-92 in home opener

Associated Press Modified: November 2, 2012 at 11:03 pm •  Published: November 2, 2012
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OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) — So far, Kevin Martin considers it an easy transition into James Harden's old role as the Oklahoma City Thunder's top bench player.

Having two All-Stars to work with can make it look that way.

Russell Westbrook scored 32 points, Kevin Durant had 23 points and 17 rebounds and the Oklahoma City Thunder beat the Portland Trail Blazers 106-92 on Friday night to win their fourth straight home opener.

Martin added 19 points, hitting a 3-pointer and a runner during an 11-2 spurt that extended the Thunder's lead to 95-81 with 4:05 remaining. Durant had the assist on both baskets.

"They have to pick their poison when it comes to us," Martin said. "We're both used to putting up numbers in this league, so they're going to take him and he's going to make the easy pass to me or ... they took me and then I made the pass to him.

"We can read off each other very well."

LaMarcus Aldridge led Portland with 22 points and 15 rebounds and first-round pick Damian Lillard followed a sizzling debut with 21 points and seven assists. The Trail Blazers shot 36 percent and were unable to follow up their surprising opening win against the Los Angeles Lakers.

"We competed for most of the game," first-year Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "We had a hard time putting the ball in the basket."

Oklahoma City bounced back from an opening loss at San Antonio that at least temporarily shifted the focus off Harden's departure. The NBA's Sixth Man of the Year was traded to Houston on Saturday night, shaking up the Thunder's second line before they could even play a game after making it to the NBA Finals.

He wasn't missed as much in this one.

Oklahoma City led throughout the second half, but twice allowed Portland to get within one point late in the third quarter. Lillard's right-handed floater got the Trail Blazers within 64-63 with 3:04 left in the period, before Durant hit a free throw and Nick Collison got free for a two-handed dunk.

The Thunder never looked back, finishing with a 44-24 scoring advantage in the paint and a 23-6 edge on the fast break.

"We just ran the floor better. A lot of guys finished a lot better around the basket. That got us easy points," said Westbrook, who was 13 for 24 from the field and had six assists.

Durant ended up with a full stat line, finishing one shy of his career best in rebounds to go with seven assists and six of the Thunder's 12 turnovers while dabbling at the point guard.

Collison was Oklahoma City's only other player in double figures, with 12 points. He dived to save a ball from going out of bounds on one baseline, getting it to Westbrook, who whipped it ahead to help Durant earn two free throws.

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