Lillard scores 33 as Trail Blazers beat Thunder 114-109
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) —
Damian Lillard had 33 points, including a key 3-pointer with just under three minutes to go, and the Portland Trail Blazers rallied for a 114-109 victory over the Oklahoma City Thunder on Thursday night.
Russell Westbrook scored 45 points on 12-of-36 shooting for the Thunder, who had their four-game winning streak snapped. Oklahoma City newcomer Taj Gibson added 15 points, including a high-arching buzzer-beater from 61 feet away to put the Thunder up 60-57 at halftime.
Alex Abrines' 3-pointer put the Thunder in front 97-89 with 7:48 left for their biggest lead of the game. But Al-Farouq Aminu made a layup that tied it at 101 with 3:43 left. He missed the free throw, but Jusuf Nurkic got the tip-in to give Portland the lead.
Lillard's 3-pointer extended the lead to 106-101 before Westbrook's driving layup and free throw pulled Oklahoma City to 110-106.
Abrines' 3-pointer with 17.7 seconds left narrowed it to 110-109. Lillard was fouled twice in the final seconds and made all four free throws before Westbrook and Doug McDermott both missed 3-pointers at the end.
Westbrook hit all 15 of his free throws. He had eight rebounds and four assists.
The Thunder were coming off a 109-106 victory over Utah. Westbrook had 43 points, 11 rebounds and 10 assists in that game for his fourth straight triple-double and 30th of the season. The Thunder opened the game against the Jazz with 12 straight 3s.
The Blazers were coming off a 120-113 overtime loss at Detroit, which capped a 2-7 February.
Portland got bad news on Wednesday when it was revealed that forward Ed Davis will have arthroscopic surgery on his left shoulder and will likely miss the rest of the season. The procedure, scheduled for next Tuesday in Los Angeles, will repair an injured labrum.
Davis has averaged 4.3 points and 5.3 rebounds in 46 games, including 12 starts, this season.
Speaking before Thursday's game, Portland coach Terry Stotts said the shoulder had been bothering Davis for a long time.
"It's actually a good thing he's getting the procedure done now so he'll be ready going into next season," Stotts said.
The Thunder were without Victor Oladipo for a fourth straight game because of back spasms. Abrines started in his place. Oklahoma City coach Billy Donovan said he did not think the spasms were the sign of a more serious issue.
The game marked the Thunder debut of guard Norris Cole, signed on Wednesday to help fill the void after the team traded backup point guard Cameron Payne to the Chicago Bulls. Cole won NBA titles with the Miami Heat in 2012 and 2013, but most recently played with the Shandong Golden Stars of the Chinese Basketball Association.
Gibson and McDermott, acquired in the trade with the Bulls, were playing in their fourth game with the Thunder.
Portland took a 20-8 lead on Lillard's layup and Nurkic's short jumper. Oklahoma City went on a 16-6 spurt to close to 26-24 at the end of the opening quarter.
Cole hit a 3-pointer early in the second quarter, his first field goal with the team, and the Thunder went up 27-26. But the Blazers reclaimed the lead and went ahead 52-45 on Aminu's 3-pointer.
CJ McCollum's 3 gave Portland a 57-48 lead, but Westbrook made consecutive 3-pointers and three straight free throws to tie it before Gibson's stunning shot from beyond halfcourt.
The Thunder led 85-81 heading into the final period.
Thunder: It was the first of a three-game road trip. ... Thunder assistant coach Maurice Cheeks was head coach of the Blazers for four seasons (2001-05).
Trail Blazers: A fan from Beaverton hit a half-court shot between the third and fourth quarters to win a new Toyota minivan. .... Evan Turner, recovering from a broken bone in his right hand, is due to have his cast removed on Friday and could return to practice as early as next week.
Thunder: Oklahoma City visits the Phoenix Suns on Friday night.
Trail Blazers: Portland hosts the Brooklyn Nets on Saturday night.
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