|Date of game: 10/29/2014
Recap: Portland vs. Oklahoma City
Portland, OR (SportsNetwork.com) - Life without Kevin Durant was fine for the Oklahoma City Thunder through three quarters.
Then the Portland Trail Blazers got red hot in the fourth.
LaMarcus Aldridge had 27 points and the Blazers pulled away for a 106-89 win over the Thunder in the season opener for both teams on Wednesday night.
The Thunder led 77-75 after three quarters, but Portland outscored them 31-12 in the final frame.
Russell Westbrook, who had 36 points through three, netted just two points on 1-of-6 shooting in the fourth.
Wesley Matthews nailed five 3-pointers and finished with 22 points, while Damian Lillard netted seven of his 10 points in the fourth for Portland, which went 54-28 a year ago and fell to eventual-champion San Antonio in the Western Conference semifinals of the playoffs.
"I was pleased the way we did it in the second half with defense," Blazers head coach Terry Stotts said. "Defense led to some good offense at the end."
Nicolas Batum tallied 16 points, six assists and five rebounds in the triumph.
Westbrook posted 26 of his 36 points in the first half, ended 11-of-26 from the field and sunk 15-of-16 foul shots for the Thunder, who lost to San Antonio in the West Finals last season.
"I thought our guys played their hearts out. We just made too many mistakes in the fourth quarter," Thunder head coach Scott Brooks said.
The reigning NBA MVP Durant, who led the league in scoring for a fourth time in the last five seasons, will miss the start of the year after undergoing surgery Oct. 16 to fix a bone fracture in his right foot.
Portland led 85-81 with 8:13 left before putting the game away with an 18-4 run.
Matthews knocked down back-to-back triples to highlight the surge, which was capped on a Thomas Robinson pull-up right elbow jumper for a 103-85 advantage with 1:31 to play.
Portland shot 54.5 percent (12-of-22) and limited the Thunder to just a 26.3 percent clip (5-of-19) in the final stanza.
Earlier, OKC led 34-29 following a quarter of play. Lance Thomas hit all five of his shots for a 10-point opening frame, while Westbrook added 11.
Right after Batum found Matthews for a dunk with 2.8 seconds left in the half, Westbrook received Darren Collison's ensuing inbounds pass near midcourt and raced the rest of the way before finishing with an emphating one-handed dunk right just prior to the horn for a 54-49 OKC lead going into the locker room.Game Notes
Westbrook was 7-of-13 in the first half and sunk 12-of-13 from the charity
stripe ... Portland put in 20 points off 15 OKC turnovers ... The Thunder were
just 2-of-16 from beyond the arc.