Published January 14, 2013
| Sports Network
Portland, OR – Kevin Durant poured in 33 points to go with six assists and four rebounds to lead the Oklahoma City Thunder to an 87-83 win over the Portland Trail Blazers on Sunday at the Rose Garden.
Russell Westbrook added 18 points, nine assists and eight rebounds and DeAndre Liggins chipped in 11 points for the Thunder, winners of three straight and five of their last six games.
"It was inspired defensive basketball -- one of our best defensive games of the year, which was surprising, because we didn't have two of our best defensive players in the lineup," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said.
LaMarcus Aldridge scored 33 points to go with 11 boards and Nicolas Batum added 21 points and seven rebounds for the Trail Blazers, who have dropped two straight on the heels of a four-game winning streak.
"I'm not going to criticize our guys," Portland head coach Terry Stotts said. "They played their (tails) off, were in position to put it into overtime and didn't quite get it done."
Damian Lillard finished with nine points and nine assists in the setback.
Oklahoma City led 84-74 with just over 3 1/2 minutes remaining, but an Aldridge jumper sparked a 9-0 Portland run. Durant had a chance to end the Thunder's scoring drought, but was stripped by Wesley Matthews with 26.9 seconds left.
Matthews then found Batum on the right wing and the Frenchman buried a trey to pull the Blazers within one point.
Lillard then stripped Westbrook in the backcourt. It appeared Westbrook had been fouled on the play, though the whistles remained silent.
Portland, though, couldn't cash in on the turnover, as Batum banged a layup off the backboard and Portland was forced to foul Kendrick Perkins after he corralled the rebound.
Perkins missed the first free throw attempt, but buried the next to make it 85-83 with 8.5 seconds left.
The Blazers threw it in to Aldridge, who couldn't get an off-balance fadeaway to go, and a pair of Westbrook free throws with 1.7 ticks left accounted for the final margin.
The Thunder led 22-19 after the first quarter, but Portland outscored Oklahoma City 24-20 in the second to take a 43-42 lead into the break.
A 15-4 run put the Thunder up 63-52 with three minutes left in the third quarter, and Oklahoma City led 68-59 entering the final frame.
The Thunder are 25-0 this season when leading after three quarters ... Perkins finished with three points and a game-high 12 rebounds ... Liggins posted career-highs for points and rebounds (nine) ... Portland shot just 36 percent (31-for-86) from the floor.