The Portland Trail Blazers beat the Oklahoma City Thunder 111-104 at the Moda Center in Portland, Oregon. The Blazers improved to 16-3, and the Thunder fell to 13-4.
When basketball is played well, it is similar to a heavy weight boxing match with two fighters trading blows. That is exactly what happened at the Moda Center in Portland. Two title contenders duking it out, and hanging in there to deliver the knock out blow in the end. The Blazers were the ones who hit the hardest when Nicolas Batum nailed a three-pointer to put Portland ahead 108-104 with 29 seconds left. OKC stumbled after a Kevin Durant missed three pointer, and finally gave out once LaMarcus Aldridge made two free throws to seal the deal.
The Blazers were down 59-48 at the half, but being on the ropes set the stage for some late game dramatics. LaMarcus Aldridge took over the game in the second half scoring 26 of his 38 points. The dude’s mid range game put the nets on fire. Rip City showered Aldridge with well deserved MVP chants. Keep it up LA, you are fun to watch!
OKC was outrebounded 47-43, which is unusual for the number one rebounding team in the league. Perhaps, a few more boards would have given the Thunder an advantage in the final minute of the game. However, the Trail Blazers are darn good crashing the boards as well with Aldridge grabbing 13 rebounds, Robin Lopez 10 rebounds, and Nicolas Batum 6 rebounds.
OKC and Portland will play again on December 31st, January 21st, and February 11th. The games will only get more intense as the playoff picture begins to crystalize.