NBA Preview from The Sports Network|
Tuesday, February 11th
(All times Eastern)
Oklahoma City Thunder (41-12) at Portland Trail Blazers (36-15), 10 p.m.
(SportsNetwork.com) - In a possible Western Conference Finals preview, Kevin
Durant will lead the Oklahoma City Thunder into a pivotal Northwest Division
matchup Tuesday night against the Portland Trail Blazers at Moda Center.
The Thunder are the Western Conference's best by 3 1/2 games over the San
Antonio Spurs. Oklahoma City is four games clear of Portland in the Northwest
This is the final meeting between NBA powers. The Blazers have taken two of
three matchups, including the only contest in Portland, a 111-104 decision on
OKC bounced back from a last-second loss Friday night in Orlando with a
112-100 home victory Sunday over the New York Knicks.
Kevin Durant had 41 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and two blocks in the
win. Durant has scored 20 or more points in 26 consecutive games for the
Thunder and was named Western Conference Player of the Week for the fifth time
"In the pick and roll we did a good job of using the screen effectively,"
Durant said. "Serge gave his body up for other guys and also finished as well.
Once we play with the pass, we're unpredictable. We have to continue to make
the right plays."
Reggie Jackson finished with 19 points, followed by 16 from Serge Ibaka, 12
out of Thabo Sefolosha and 10 from Derek Fisher. Kendrick Perkins pulled down
11 rebounds for the Thunder, who shot 54.8 percent and 44.4 percent from long
The Thunder close out a mini road trip Thursday night against the Los Angeles
The Blazers returned home from an eastern road trip that saw them go 2-2. They
earned tough victories over the Knicks and Minnesota Timberwolves, but lost
against the Washington Wizards and Indiana Pacers in overtime.
The most recent game was the Minnesota affair and LaMarcus Aldridge had 26
points and nine rebounds as the Trail Blazers defeated the shorthanded
Timberwolves, 117-110, on Saturday night.
Minnesota was missing starters Kevin Love (quad), Nikola Pekovic (ankle) and
Kevin Martin (toe) due to injuries. That wasn't Portland's problem as it
finished with six double-figure scorers.
Rookie C.J. McCollum netted 19 points and Damian Lillard tallied 14 points,
five rebounds and four assists for the Blazers, who have alternated wins and
losses over their last six tilts.
"I feel more comfortable every game," McCollum said. "Obviously I'm a
confident person and I put a lot of work in and trust myself."
Wesley Matthews finished with 21 points, while Nicolas Batum chipped in 15
points and Joel Freeland added 11 off the bench. Robin Lopez only managed
seven points, but grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked four shots.
When the Blazers beat the Thunder on Dec. 4, that halted a seven-game series
02/11 10:29:11 ET