|Date of game: 12/23/2014
Recap: Oklahoma City vs. Portland
Oklahoma City, OK (SportsNetwork.com) - Damian Lillard poured in 40 points on 11-of-21 shooting to go along with 11 assists, and the Portland Trail Blazers stunned the Oklahoma City Thunder, 115-111, in overtime on Tuesday.
LaMarcus Aldridge contributed 25 points with nine rebounds and Wesley Matthews checked in with 22 points for the Blazers, who overcame a 10-point deficit in the final two minutes of regulation to win for the sixth time in seven contests.
"Our team never quits," Blazers coach Terry Stotts said. "We believe we can win every game, regardless of the situation."
Russell Westbrook also went for 40 points with 10 rebounds and six assists in the loss. But unlike Lillard, it took him a career-high 34 shot attempts to do it.
Reggie Jackson and Serge Ibaka had 21 and 16 points, respectively, for Oklahoma City, which played without star Kevin Durant for a third straight game due to a sprained right ankle.
The Thunder have lost three of their last four entering their showdown with the defending champion San Antonio Spurs on Christmas Day.
Aldridge converted a three-point play following a Jackson basket to open the overtime period. Matthews knocked down a 3-pointer the next trip down prior to Westbrook's layup that made it a two-point game.
It stayed that way until Lillard dialed in a trey, then he hit a pair of free throws with just over a minute left before Dorell Wright's tip-in gave the Blazers a comfortable seven-point cushion.
Jackson netted the first five points of the fourth as part of an 18-5 burst that Westbrook capped with a jumper at 5:04 for a 91-78 lead.
The Blazers continued to chip away and Lillard scored six straight late in the frame to cut the deficit to 95-91. Westbrook responded with a jumper, but it turned out to be his miss from the free throw line that proved costly.
Aldridge knocked in four straight to close the gap, then Westbrook left the door open for a tie by hitting just 1-of-2 from the line with 5.2 seconds left.
Out of a timeout, Lillard found himself wide open at the top of the key coming off a pick and buried the trey to tie the game. Westbrook was off the mark from way beyond the arc as the buzzer sounded.
"They pushed Russell out," Thunder coach Scott Brooks said of Westbrook's final shot in regulation. "He made a tough decision. We have to get a better shot than that."
Lillard's 3-pointer to close the half staked the Blazers to a 54-43 lead.
Oklahoma City then turned it up on the offensive end and locked down defensively in the second half.
Westbrook had six points and three assists during a 22-7 run that spanned six minutes, giving the Thunder a 69-67 lead with just over a minute remaining in the third.
Portland answered with two 3s around a Kendrick Perkins make to regain the lead, however, Jackson converted a layup in the closing seconds to tie the score at 73-73 entering the fourth.Game Notes
Aldridge and Ibaka both were ejected from the game after a little scuffle
ensued with 9.5 seconds left in the extra session ... OKC had a 54-24 edge in
the paint ... Each team had a game-high lead of 13 points ... There were 11
lead changes ... Steven Adams had a game-high 11 rebounds in the setback.