Thunder whips Portland, wins third division championship

by Darnell Mayberry Published: April 12, 2013
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That left Blazers guard Damian Lillard, the presumed Rookie of the Year, staring at another Thunder defense that's been plenty stingy against him this season. Lillard scored just 10 points on 3-for-14 shooting. He added three rebounds and eight assists in 37 minutes.

In the four-game series against the Thunder, Lillard averaged just 14.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 7.5 assists while shooting 35 percent in 38.5 minutes.

His season averages are 19.1 points, 3.1 rebounds, 6.5 assists and 42.9 percent shooting.

“We locked in on him,” Brooks said. “We know that he's a primary scorer on their team and he's really good … We've done a good job of stopping the ball. We don't want a lot of penetration, and we did a good job of keeping him out of the paint.”

All-Star forward LaMarcus Aldridge struggled just as much as Lillard, finishing with 12 points on 6-for-14 shooting. Portland's top scorer was rookie Will Barton, a second-round pick who averages 3.3 points. He finished with 18 but needed 19 shots to get it.

Much like the previous night at Golden State, the Thunder took control with a dominant third quarter. Only this time, Oklahoma City was even more impressive. The Thunder outscored the Blazers 26-7 in the period after holding Portland to 3-for-22 shooting.

With five turnovers in the third quarter, the Blazers coughed up the ball more times in the period than they scored it.

Westbrook scored 17 of his points in that third quarter, attacking on both drives and jump shots. He powered the Thunder to an 81-61 lead going into the fourth quarter.

The Blazers never got closer than 13.

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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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