Thunder play crucial game vs. Blazers

( - The Oklahoma City Thunder may have to continue their playoff push Monday without MVP candidate Russell Westbrook when they host the Portland Trail Blazers.

Westbrook scored a career-high 54 points in Sunday's road loss to the Indiana Pacers, but the guard received his 16th technical foul of the season. Unless rescinded by the NBA, he will be suspended for Monday's huge game.

"I ain't got no view on it," Westbrook told reporters after the game. "He called it and we'll move on from it."

The Thunder are tied for the eighth and final playoff spot in the Western Conference with the New Orleans Pelicans, who hold the tiebreaker advantage. The Thunder finish the season Wednesday in Minnesota, while the Pelicans play in Minnesota Monday, then host the San Antonio Spurs two days later.

Westbrook was dynamic on Sunday, but OKC fell, 116-104. He scored 54 points on 21-of-43 shooting and also had nine rebounds and eight assists for the Thunder.

Westbrook went on a personal 7-0 run to make it 88-88 with 7:54 to play. However, Indiana responded with the next 12 points to take control. Rodney Stuckey and C.J. Miles made 3-pointers during that surge, which included Westbrook's technical foul.

Westbrook scored nine straight points to get Oklahoma City within 102-99 with 3:13 to go. His 3-pointer with 1:19 left again made it a three-point game. But Indiana ended the game on a 10-1 run.

"His competitive spirit kept us in this game," said Thunder coach Scott Brooks. "Even with all of those things happening to use -- the free throws and the easy opportunities in transition -- those are the things that Russell does. He plays with a lot of heart, desire and determination and he puts us in a position to win the game."

The Trail Blazers are headed to the postseason. They won the Northwest Division and are assured a top-four seed, but will most likely not have homecourt advantage since they are only sixth in the standings.

Portland has lost two straight, including Saturday's home loss to the Utah Jazz, 111-105.

Damian Lillard had 28 points and C.J. McCollum added 26 for the Trail Blazers. Robin Lopez scored 21 for the Northwest Division champions.

"It was kind of a disappointing effort by us," Lillard said. "I think we played hard, but basically I think the focus just wasn't there."

McCollum and Meyers Leonard started in place of Arron Afflalo (right shoulder strain) and LaMarcus Aldridge (left foot sprain) for Portland.

A layup from Lopez tied the game at 101-101 with 2:33 left, but Rodney Hood hit the go-ahead bank shot on the next possession. The Jazz made eight foul shots down the stretch.

Portland was 6-of-30 from 3-point range and will conclude its campaign Wednesday night in Dallas.

The Blazers will go for their first season sweep of the Thunder since the team was in Seattle back in the 1999-2000 campaign.