Thunder: OKC trims Trail Blazers in overtime, 111-107

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with a team-high 33 points, and Russell Westbrook added 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists as Thunder nabs big road win.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: February 7, 2012
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PORTLAND — This, by far, was the toughest test yet.

On the road, in a hostile environment, against a dominant home team — a team that is the only club that can claim it has beaten the Thunder in Oklahoma City.

And though it took the first overtime period of the season to get it done, the Thunder finally finished off the Portland Trail Blazers with a 111-107 victory on Monday night inside the Rose Garden.

Kevin Garnett would approve if you deemed it a bar fight.

By surviving, the Thunder bumped its league-best record to 19-5 and moved to 10-4 on the road after an uncharacteristically poor showing two nights earlier at San Antonio.

Kevin Durant led the Thunder with a team-high 33 points, and Russell Westbrook added 28 points, 11 rebounds and eight assists. Serge Ibaka provided 12 points, 13 rebounds and four blocked shots, James Harden scored 19 points off the bench and Kendrick Perkins pulled down 10 rebounds in addition to scoring six points to cap a total team effort.

“I’m just glad we got the win, man,” said Durant. “It was one of those wins where we come back in the locker room a little bit emotional.”

Two nights after Spurs guard Tony Parker shattered his individual scoring record for this season against the Thunder, Blazers forward LaMarcus Aldridge threatened to take it right back. Aldridge, who scored 30 against the Thunder in Oklahoma City on Jan. 3, finished with 39 points, three shy of Parker’s 42 from Saturday at AT&T Center in San Antonio.

Aldridge connected on 14 of 28 shots but went 0-for-3 in the overtime session.

The Thunder’s shutdown defense on Aldridge in overtime, largely a credit to Perkins, was a microcosm of how Oklahoma City put the clamps on Portland as a whole in the extra period.

The Thunder held the Blazers to four points on 1-for-9 shooting in the extra session.

“I thought Perk was the difference-maker,” said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. “It’s kind of weird to say that when the guy he was guarding had 39, but he made him work for every shot. His activity, his rebounding, his defense, his toughness I thought won this game."

No sequence was better than the game-clinching defensive stop.

After the Blazers inbounded the ball with 30.6 seconds left to play and OKC ahead by two, the Thunder swarmed every Blazers player with even the slightest chance of again tying the score. Westbrook crowded Jamal Crawford. Perkins played Aldridge tight. Ibaka showed a hard double team on Aldridge when he made his catch on an entry pass and rotated quickly back to his man, Kurt Thomas.


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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